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Broke the tape a foot in front of his gallant Exeter
RIVAL.— Page 270.
CLAUDE MOORE FUESS , /»^5
Author of ** All for Andover^'
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO,
By Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
All rights reserved
The Andover Way
Printed in U. S. A.
to my son
JOHN CUSHING FUESS
My Severest arid Most Helpful Critic
I. The Heeo Appears ....
The Hero Displays His Ignorance
The Hero Makes a Friend
The Hero Discovers His Musct.kb .
The Hero Learns by Experience .
The Hero Becomes a Good Samar-
The Hero Wins His Spurs
The Hero Widens His Horizon
The Hero Is Under Suspicion .
The Hero Is Tried by Fire .
The Hero Reaches His Goa.l .
The Hero Amazes His Mother
The Hero Closes the Year
The Hero Says His Farewells
Broke the tape a foot in front of his
gallant Exeter rival (Page 270) Frontispiece
Obviously a new student ... 16
Staggering and exhausted, Oscar let
Bull take up his inert burden . . 280
Mrs. Harris stopped patting her
dress and turned to look at her
THE ANDOVER WAY
THE HERO APPEARS
It was a gloriously warm and hazy morning in
mid-September on Andover Hill. Four perfectly
healthy young men were stretched out lazily on
the grass in front of the new George Washington
Hall, in attitudes which expressed disdain for
all forms of mental and physical exertion. Every-
where around them frenzied people were hurrying
to and fro, shouting vague questions and consult-
ing mysterious documents. Not far away, on the
massive granite portico of the great Main Build-
ing, were little clusters of bewildered youngsters,
evidently hoping that some one would soon come
along to tell them what to do. Now and then a
huge truck would rumble up to Phillips or Bartlet
Halls and disgorge a load of miscellaneous bag-
gage. Indeed, these four idlers were the only
ones in the immediate vicinity who looked com-
pletely at peace with the world.
12 THE ANDOVER WAY
They happened to be close friends who were
slowly getting reacquainted after the three
months of summer vacation, — friends so inti-
mate that they were often known as the " Four
Musketeers," Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Ar-
tagnan. Very different in character and person-
ality, they had certain fundamental ideas on
which they were agreed, and among them they
represented nearly all the important phases of
Andover school life.
Suddenly the chimes in the imposing Memorial
Tower struck eleven, and one of the group rose on
his elbow to listen attentively.
" Say, those bells do sound good to me/' he ex-
claimed, when the last echo had died away. " Over
in Day Hall last year I used to hate them, espe-
cially when * Doc ' Schleiermacher would wake us
up by playing them early on holidays. But this
summer out in Montana, off on the plains where
there wasn't any noise at all, I used to feel mighty
lonely without them. The ' Doc ' can rattle away
as much as he likes for all of me."
The speaker was a muscular, square- jawed chap,
with curly auburn hair, piercing blue eyes, and a
look of independence on his handsome face. His
stolid indifference to the bustle near him was a
THE HERO APPEARS 13
positive indication that he had been through it all
before. As a matter of fact, he was a senior,
" Steve ^' Fisher by name, who, as halfback on the
eleven and captain of the baseball team, was a
personage in the academy. But the honors which
he had won did not seem to fill his companions
" That's all piffle, you know! " burst out a tall,
dark-complexioned fellow, with a haughty manner
and a somewhat cynical expression hovering over
his lips. "You talk like a sweet young thing!
After you've been back a week or two you'll be
cursing at those clanging bells like all the rest of
us." It was "Hal" Manning, editor of the
school paper, a highly sophisticated gentleman,
who liked to boast that he had tasted life and
found it ashes. He resembled the Athos of
Dumas's romaiice, and had even been known to
wear a carnation in his buttonhole.
" Oh, dry up, Hal! " growled a burly hulk of a
boy, with a neck like a Roman gladiator and yel-
low pompadour hair. "You make me tired!
Just because you dwell in Boston's Back Bay
and your Pilgrim ancestors stole Cape Cod from
a tribe of helpless Indians, you consider yourself
privileged to laugh at all sentiment. You really
14 THE ANDOVER WAY
love Andover as much as any of us." These re-
marks came from "Joe" Watson, a genial
giant, who was captain of the track team and uni-
versally popular because of his skill as a shot-
putter, his football prowess, and his good nature.
He was the Porthos of the group.
" Yes,'' added Steve, " all this place has done
for Hal is to teach him to conceal his unselfish
impulses behind a sinister sneer. He has devel-
oped into a model movie villain, who ought to
stalk up and down gnawing his nether lip and
blowing clouds of smoke into the air."
" Well, when you come right down to it, Steve,
what has Andover done for you? " This query,
in a sarcastic tone, came from the last member of
the quartette, a thin youth with a rather discon-
tented countenance, whose fondness for the spec-
tacular was shown by his bright blazer and loud
flannel knickerbockers. He was " Ted " Sher-
man, manager of the football team and a very
active and shrewd politician, — Aramis, beyond a
"What do you want me to answer?" replied
Steve, undisturbed b> ^e insinuation. " It has
knocked a little sense into my bony cranium, I
hope. It has made me understand that I don't
THE HERO APPEARS 15
know quite everything. That's what it does for
^'Righto! " put in Joe, coming to Stevens de-
fense. " It takes the conceit out of us. And it
still has a lot to do in some cases I know." He
glanced significantly in Hal's direction.
"At last I feel at home again," commented Hal.
" I've been waiting for that courteous retort. It's
the same gang that we had last year. Rave on,
will you, and get it out of your systems. I'm
willing to admit, if it will do any good, that I'm
glad to be back, even if I do have to associate
with low company once more."
The repartee was about to become more spir-
ited, but just then Ted, rising to a sitting posture,
interrupted by crying out, " Say, what's this com-
ing? It's a 'knock-out,' by George! You say
that Andover improves men! What do you sup-
pose even this school can do to develop stuff like
Following the line of Ted's extended finger, his
companions saw what were evidently a mother
and son, the latter obviously a new student. He
was fully six feet in heigt«*'^hd had a big|rame,
but he had a pronounced stoop forward and was
very thin, so that he seemed about to float off
16 THE ANDOVER WAY
at any moment in the light south breeze^ His
broad forehead bulged out over his eyes, which
were hidden behind tortoise-shell spectacles of
unusually large circumference. On his head was
a wide-brimmed white fedora hat, of a type never
worn in Andover except by octogenarians, and his
cravat was so conspicuously crimson that it
flamed in the sunlight. Little patches of hair,
growing down his cheeks in the shape of " side-
burns," gave him an oddly foreign look. His
tweed suit, which was tight and closely-fitted in
the European style, allowed his bony wrists to
project into space, like those of the famous Icha-
bod Crane. He resembled nothing so much as a
comic-paper caricature of little Rollo from Beacon
Hill. All four boys sat up straighter to have a
better view of this imexpected apparition.
"What do you call it?" asked Joe in amaze-
ment, as his eyes travelled over the strange figure.
" Name it yourself," answered Hal. " It looks
for all the world as if the keeper of the zoo had
" No, you're wrong," said Joe, who had a literal
mind. " It's really a ' prep,' and he is bringing
his mother to see that he gets started right. See
how he's hanging on her arm."
Obviously a new student. —Page 15.
THE HERO APPEARS 17
" If that is a sure-enough ' prep/ we're going
to have a strong candidate for Joe's place in the
line. Gaze upon those legs! Wouldn't he shine
in a scrimmage? "
" Yes/' mused Ted, " I suppose you fellows
think that this school is going to transform that
kind of raw material into a finished product worth
having, don't you? "
" I'm not so sure/' replied Steve. " You never
can tell what wonderful possibilities may be
stowed away under even that queer exterior.
Lincoln was no Apollo when he was a boy. I'd
just like to have a glimpse of this fellow next
" I'll tell you what I'll do as a sporting proposi-
tion/' responded Ted, who enjoyed causing a sen-
sation as a reckless daredevil. "I'll bet you
twenty-five dollars that he doesn't last here until
" You know that, even if I wanted to, I can't
aJBFord to put up any money with you," Steve an-
swered coolly, with the air of a man who is stat-
ing a commonplace. " Nevertheless, I think that
he may have a chance. Let's keep our eyes on
him. It will be funny if you have to eat your
18 THE ANDOVER WAY
Py this time the strangers, after pausing to
admire the colonial buildings around them, had
reached the four friends. As Joe stood up to go
to his dormitory, the woman, who was in mourn-
ing, looked at him appealingly and then came
nearer and spoke.
" I beg your pardon," she began, " but I am
having difficulty in finding the place where new
students are enrolled. Can you help me? "
"Yes, ma'am," answered Joe, who, although
embarrassed, did not forget to be polite. " Yes,
ma'am, right here is where Mr. Lynton hangs
out, — I mean has his office, — and I'm positive
that he's there inside now. Let me direct you.
He'll give you the dope, — I mean he'll provide
you with the necessary information." Holding
the door open for her to enter, the stammering
Joe ushered her with her son into the vestibule
of George Washington Hall, the beautiful struc-
ture on the north side of the quadrangle. Here
the auditorium and the administrative offices
As they disappeared within, Ted, who had been
scrutinizing the prospective Andoverian, com-
plained in a disgusted tone, " Honestly, these new
men get worse every fall. Looks to me as if this
THE HERO APPEARS 19
institution were going down-hill. Things aren't
what they used to be! "
" The trouble is," ventured Joe, " that you keep
thinking about that wonderful September two
years back when the quartette of us entered.
Andover will never have another ' prep ' class
like that, — never! ''
" That's the idea, Joe. Show off your marvel-
lous gift of irony! " responded Ted. " But what
I want to know is whether you ever saw on this
Hill a less promising specimen than that? "
" No, I don't believe I ever did," admitted Joe,
thoughtfully and candidly. " I wonder what will
become of him? "
" Oh, some impatient ' prof ' will hit him with
an axe on a dark night and throw the remains into
Rabbit's Pond," said Hal emphatically. " That
is, if he lingers longer than a week."
" You two are pessimists, all right," interposed
Steve. " That fellow is no dumbbell. His clothes
are wrong and all that, but he looks intelligent.
Wait until his greenness wears off! Besides, I
still have confidence in what this school can ac-
complish. This place will improve him, — it's the
Andover way. See what it has made out of
20 THE ANDOVER WAY
Just then Joe appeared, wiping his brow and
chuckling audibly. "Gee! " he broke out as he
saw Steve. " That^s a prize-winner ! He is cer-
tainly going to have a rare reception when he gets
in. Guess what his name is? "
" No, you're all wrong/' roared Joe. " It's
Alfred Tennyson Harris! "
"Carry me home to die!" shouted Ted.
"That's terrible! "
" How did you learn that? " inquu-ed Steve.
" I had to introduce the two of them to Mr.
Ljmton. The boy is going to be a senior. I
heard his mother say that he had all but two
points off for college, and she's sending him here
just for a final polishing off before he goes to
" He'll be polished off nicely here, I'm sure,"
At that moment Hal interrupted with a low,
" Look out, my hearties, here he is now! "
Sure enough, there was the newcomer, his hat
held in his hand and his long silky hair hanging
down over his eyes, blinking and staring at Joe.
THE HERO APPEARS 21
" I crave your indulgence again, sir," he began
in an odd, precise manner, which seemed like af-
fectation, "but can you inform me where the
building known as Wendell Hall is located? "
"Can I, my lad? I not only can, but will,"
replied Joe, with a broad grin. " It lies over
across Main Street beyond that Tower." And he
pointed in the right direction.
" I have just been assigned an apartment there,
and I assume that I ought to move in at once,"
continued the boy, his face still solemn. " Will
it be possible for me to obtain a servant to assist
me with my trunks? "
" My word 1 Fawncy ! " broke in Hal, who
could not endure the strain any longer. "And I
suppose you are expecting the butler and the
second man to be in the door to welcome you, old
The recruit looked puzzled for a moment, and
then, slowly catching the point, he smiled toler-
antly and answered, "Thanks awfully! But of
course I realize that you're spoofing me, you
"I'm glad that you get it," commented Hal.
" That scores one point for you."
Steve, who had been listening to this inter-
22 THE ANDOVER WAY
change with undisguised delight, now decided to
have a hand in the game.
" What's your name, prep? " he inquired in a
The ana?mic-looking lad drew from his vest
pocket an alligator-skin case, extracted from it a
thin piece of pasteboard, and handed it deferen-
tially to Steve. The latter examined it closely
and read aloud, ''Alfred Tennyson Harris.'' As
if by a preconcerted signal, the other three all
shouted in unison, '' Alfred Tennyson Harris,"
stressing each syllable and ending with a pro-
nounced hiss. Then Steve, turning upon the as-
tonished boy with a frown, growled, " Prep, are
you making fun of me? "
" Oh, no, not at all. That's my name, the one
I was christened with, it really is. But my
friends all call me ' Tenny.' I was named for
Alfred Tennyson, the great English bard, you
" Indeed! And who is Alfred Tennyson? " in-
quired Hal, an innocent look in his eye. " Is he
'' Of course he is dead," answered " Tenny,"
with a hint of condescension in his tone. "Are
you not acquainted with his poems? He is one
THE HERO APPEARS 23
of the most eminent of modern British authors.
May I recite to you one of his lyrics? "
" Shall we allow this thing to live for a day or
two, or shall we annihilate it now?/' whispered
Hal to Ted.
" Oh, let it die a natural death. We shall prob-
ably be in at the funeral, anyhow."
Steve was a little annoyed. Surveying Harris
from head to foot and adopting the relentless
manner of a judge, he said, '* Prep, you have a
lot to learn. No one with a name like that can
dwell on this ancient Hill. You are herewith
dubbed ' Oscar.' "
" Oscar? Oscar? " stammered the boy. " No
one has ever addressed me as Oscar."
" I can't help that. You're Oscar from this
date on, and don't you forget it. Now we'll have
a rehearsal. Prep, what is your name? "
" Alf Oscar, I mean."
" Yes, sir, yes, sir, Oscar, sir! Thank you, sir!"
" That's better. And Oscar "
"Yes, sir, I'm listening."
" Be sure to have those flowing golden locks of
yours removed by to-morrow morning, — ^really cut
short. And kindly, at the same time, see that
24 THE ANDOVER WAY
those little dabs of hair on your cheeks are taken
off. They're positively indecent! "
" Very weU, sir/'
Just then Mrs. Harris emerged from George
Washington Hall, evidently a trifle disconcerted,
and said, " Tenny, are you coming with me? "
" Right away, Mother," he answered, and, turn-
ing to Steve, he asked in a respectful tone, *' May
I depart now, sir? "
"Yes, Oscar, you may go. But don't neglect
to comply with our requests."
Bowing and putting his hat back on his head,
Oscar walked off arm in arm with his mother to-
wards Wendell Hall.
Meanwhile Mr. Lynton, the officer in charge of
admission to the academy, was sitting almost in a
stupor, as he had been left by Mrs. Harris. Her
interview with him had been brief, as brief as he
could make it, but it had been quite long enough ;
and, as he thought back over his many peculiar
experiences with mothers, he could recall none
so debilitating as that through which he had just
passed. Young Harris, on the basis of his college
entrance examinations, had been tentatively ad-
mitted some weeks before to the senior class; and
the preliminary correspondence had brought out
THE HERO APPEARS 25
the fact that the boy, who was well over eighteen
years old, had been livkig with his mother in
Europe for some time. The father, a prosperous
lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas, had volunteered for
the National Army at the outbreak of the World
War and had been mortally wounded at the head
of his company in the Argonne Forest. His
broken-hearted widow, who had been a Philadel-
phia girl, settled her husband's large estate and
then sailed with her only son for France, hoping to
find relief from her sorrow in changed surround-
ings. There, except for a few business trips to
the United States, she had remained ever since,
with Oscar as her chief consolation, dividing her
time between Paris and the Riviera. It is hardly
necessary to add that the boy had been very much
indulged and that his days had been spent in the
company of older people. Mrs. Harris herself
had never fully recovered from the sudden and
terrific shock which she had sustained in her hus-
As she sat there in Mr. Lynton's office she was
an appealing figure, dressed still in black, with
soft brown eyes and a melodious voice, and evi-
dently almost pathetically ignorant of American
26 THE ANDOVER WAY
" Mr. Lynton/' she went on when the arrange-
ments had been settled, " my son has always had
a nurse and a governess, and has never heard a
cross or profane word in all his life. Now I want
you to promise not to put him in a dormitory
with any rough boys/'
" I'm afraid, Mrs. Harris, that we cannot abso-
lutely guarantee the social prominence of his as-
" But Alfred, as you must have noticed while
he was here, is so exceptionally refined and fas-
tidious. He has always moved among gentlemen,
and I don't want his sensitive nature to be coars-
"Are you sure then that you have him in the
right school, madam? This is a big institution,
and there are bound to be all kinds of students in
it. It is like a small world."
"Yes, he must come here, if only because his
father w^as an Andover graduate and always en-
thusiastic about the place. But I do dread leav-
ing my boy alone. You will watch him carefully
to see that he wears rubbers on rainy days and
puts on a muffler whenever it gets cold. You
will, won't you, Mr. Lynton? " She stretched out
her hands beseechingly towards him.
THE HERO APPEARS 27
Through long experience Mr. Lynton had be-
come adamant to such outbursts. Unruffled, he
replied, " Madam, I must tell you that I have
nothing whatever to do with that phase of your
son's career at Andover. You'll have to consult
his house master regarding those details."
" I shall stay here long enough to see that his
engravings of French cathedrals are properly hung
and that all his suits are cleaned and pressed.
Then I'm afraid that I must abandon the dear boy
and let him shift for himself. Do you think that
five hundred dollars a month will be a sufficient
allowance for him? '^
For once Mr. Lynton was jarred out of his
habitual placidity. "Great heavens, madam!"
he cried. " That's more than most of his teachers
are paid! It would be nothing short of sinful to
put as much cash as that into his hands. Twenty
dollars a month for spending money, exclusive of
food, tuition, and clothes, is ample." In spite of
his admirable self-control he was on the verge of
giving way to his temper.
"Perhaps you are right," sighed Mrs. Harris,
touching her eyes softly with a black-bordered
handkerchief. And then she added, "Oh, Mr.
Lynton, I know that I'm bothering you, but don't
28 THE ANDOVER WAY
be impatient with me! You will have pity on a
lonely mother and watch over my pet, won't
Suppressing an ejaculation of impatience, Mr.
Lynton avowed his earnest intention of guarding
strictly the manners and morals of the newcomer,
and then terminated the conversation as rapidly
.as possible, being careful, however, to do it in a
tactful way. It was at the conclusion of this dia-
logue that she rejoined her son outside and walked
off with him in quest of his new quarters.
They strolled slowly by old Pearson Hall to the
Dining Hall and the Gymnasium, stopping every
few steps to comment on the beauty of the broad
vistas or the synmietry of the noble elms around
them. When they reached the Training Field, —
the historic plot of ground where General George
Washington once reviewed the Andover militia, —
they paused at the foot of the Memorial Tower to
read the long list of the Andover men who died in
the World War. There, nearly at the top, carved
deep in the enduring granite, was the name of
Thomas Walker Harris, '99, Alfred's father. As
Mrs. Harris pointed it out to the boy she said
simply, " My son, I hope that you will always be
worthy of him. He was a gallant soldier and a
THE HERO APPEARS 29
good man." The lad's shoulders straightened as
they moved on, but he said nothing; his thoughts
were too deep to be expressed.
When they had crossed Main Street, Wendell
Hall was in front of them, — ^an oblong-shaped
brick building, three stories high, with a main en-
trance in the middle of one side for the use of the
boys, and a porch and door at each end. Mr.
Lynton had explained to Mrs. Harris that the two
married instructors in charge lived with their
families on the ground floor. The two upper
stories were devoted to single rooms and suites
for students. To the west was open country,
stretching down to woodland half a mile away;
and there was a view of distant forest-covered
hills. Mrs. Harris, accustomed as she was to city
boulevards, considered it almost out of civiliza-
tion, but she had to confess to herself that the
prospect was very beautiful indeed.
Pressing the bell at the little porch, Mrs. Harris
was soon admitted with Alfred to the apartments
occupied by the proctor of that entry, — a gentle-
man named Randall. Mrs. Randall, a pretty lit-
tle woman who looked hardly more than twenty,
greeted the visitors.
"Aren't you much too young to take care of
30 THE ANDOVER WAY
boys? " asked Mrs. Harris when the introductions
"I'm not really responsible for them," smiled
Mrs. Randall, half apologetically. " Sometimes
we have them down for tea or dinner, but I never
go up in their rooms except when there is an emer-
gency. There are janitors in every dormitory, of
'* Then you couldn't keep after my Alfred to
make sure that he dresses warmly enough when
the winter weather comes? "
" You haven't been here very long, have you,
Mrs. Harris? When you discover how things are
run, you will probably be glad to have your son
manage his own affairs without having some
woman like me trying to boss him."
" Oh, but he has never done that, my dear. He
has always had somebody around, a governess or
a tutor, to tell him what to do. That's why I
want him properly directed. And I'm so much
worried." Here the tiny handkerchief made its
appearance, and tears seemed about to gush forth.
Alfred, who had hitherto sat discreetly silent,
now turned color and actually made a suggestion.
" Mother, don't you think that we had better go
up to the room? "
THE HERO APPEARS 31
Fortunately Mr. Randall just then came in
from his study, — a tall, slender man, more than
slightly bald and evidently some years older than
his girlish wife. He wore eye-glasses on a ribbon;
and around his mouth, beneath a wisp of a mous-
tache, there flickered a whimsical smile, which
showed that he contrived to extract some humor
from what is ordinarily supposed to be a desiccat-
ing profession. Having been thrown into contact
with all types of mothers and fathers, he believed
himself to be an expert in their management ; in-
deed, he had once published anonymously an es-
say in '' The Contributor's Column " of The At-
lantic Monthly on *' The Female Parent and Her
Peculiarities." As a house master he cherished
few hopes and retained no illusions. It should be
added that he was known to the boys as " Weary "
Greeting Mrs. Harris with the scrupulous po-
liteness which he showed to every mother of one
of his boys, he gladly agreed to escort her to the
room which had been assigned to Alfred. Located
on the third floor, facing the west, it had an ex-
tensive outlook over field and forest to the moun-
tains of southern New Hampshire, even to
Monadnock sixty miles away. It was fairly large
32 THE ANDOVER WAY
and was comfortably provided with hea\y mission
furniture; some attractive chintz curtains at the
windows gave it a homelike appearance.
" I must admit that it looks fairly clean, Mr.
Randall," commented Mrs. Harris, as she stared
through her lorgnette at one object after another.
*' But the rug is a trifle worn on this corner. It's
too bad that it is so obviously of domestic manu-
facture. And there aren't nearly enough shelves
to hold all Alfred's books."
*' He'll find no diiBBculty in purchasing book-
cases, or anything else that he requires, at the
furniture store downtown," replied Mr. Randall,
with the skeptical tone of a teacher who was
suspicious of any such signs of culture in a new
"You see Vm returning to France within a
week, and I wish to be absolutely certain before
I leave that Alfred is pleasantly established.
Then my conscience will be clear."
" He'll be all right, Mrs. Harris, I am sure.
In fact ril be entirely frank with you and say
that it is not always wise for a mother to linger
too long here with her son."
" That's just what I have tried to tell you,
Mother," said Alfred, with an air of elation, as if
THE HERO APPEARS 33
the conversation were taking a turn which pleased
" Well, it's hard that a mother isn't wanted by
her one and only child," pouted Mrs. Harris,
bringing the handkerchief once more into action.
*' It isn't that, madam," hastily explained Mr.
Randall, who had no desire to provoke a scene.
" Sooner or later in Andover every student has to
rely on his own resources, — the sooner the bet-
ter — and, if he can't, this is no place for him. It
may seem hard to parents at first, but, if they're
sensible, — and most of them are, — they soon come
around to our opinion."
" Do you advise me, then, to let Alfred buy all
his own things? "
" I certainly do. It won't take him long to
learn what is needed, and he'll make fewer mis-
takes than you will. There are certain customs
among the boys which he will not wish to go
"Very well, then, I'll leave town this after-
noon, as soon as I have called upon the Head-
master. But I'm sure that Alfred will never be
able to get under way himself."
" You'll find that he'll fight out his own prob-
lems and develop his own character by doing so,
84 THE ANDOVER WAY
— ^at least that's our theory here. And what he
doesn't understand, 111 explain to him."
The conversation languished a little, and Mrs.
Harris took her leave. Partly reassured by Mr.
Randall's words, she watched Alfred go off by
himself for his first meal at the Dining Hall, and
then returned to the Phillips Inn for luncheon
and a rest. In the late afternoon she walked to
the Head's residence, where she was received by
that gentleman in his book-lined study. After
announcing that she was placing her only son
in the academy, she settled down to a recital of
his virtues and peculiarities, and the Head sank
back in his wing chair, knowing exactly what to
" My Alfred," she confided to hun, " is natu-
rally a bright lad, and I have tried to bring him
up like a gentleman."
Visions of Little Lord Fauntleroy flitted
through the Head's mind, — of a broad starched
collar, velvet suit, accurately parted hair, and
dainty manners! How could he escape? Why
had he not pleaded an important engagement?
The Head was a grey-haired man not much
over fifty, whose life had been spent in dealing
with schoolboys, — as ^.thletic coach, as teachei
THE HERO APPEARS 35
and now as leader of a great academy. He knew
youthful psychology. He understood a young
man's hopes and fears, his perversity, and his un-
derlying idealism. Year after year he had seen
classes come and go. He had watched timid
youngsters develop into stalwart men; he had fol-
lowed undersized " preps " until they became the
heroes of Harvard-Yale football contests ; and he
had noticed that manliness and independence are
qualities which come only when the boy is placed
in some degree on his own initiative. He had
patiently listened a thousand times to the story
which Mrs. Harris had to tell. Nevertheless he
merely nodded enigmatically as he sat there, and
" But he has had something the matter with
his stomach ever since he was a baby, and he
could never eat some of the things which other
boys digest, — ^beans, for instance. Often IVe had
to feed him for a week on just light vegetable
salad and nuts."
"What a time this Harris lad is in for!''
thought the Head. But, like some of the wisest
statesmen, he gave his speculations no tongue.
"And so I've been wondering whether you
could have him report at your office two or three
36 THE ANDOVER WAY
times a week and let you know how he is getting
along with the diet I have told him to follow?
I want to be very cautious, you know, and your
counsel might mean a great deal to him."
" Madam," ejaculated the Head, at last aroused
from his silence to a point where he felt some ex-
planation to be desirable, " do you realize that
we have nearly seven hundred pupils in this in-
stitution? If I saw each one for five minutes a
week, that would cover nearly sixty hours, — six
days of ten hours each! Where would the rest
of my duties have to go? Our house officers watch
the conduct of the students in their charge, and
there is a school physician to check up on their
health; but these men are very busy, and they
can't be expected to investigate the daily menu
of each boy. When a young fellow enters An-
dover, he is supposed to be at least mature enough
to eat properly. I am sorry to inform you that,
if your son must have that kind of personal su-
pervision, you ought to withdraw him at once."
The Head was very pleasant in his manner, but
he did not wish to be misunderstood.
" Oh, no! I should never forgive myself if he
didn't get an Andover diploma. His father
graduated here many years ago, and Alfred will
THE HERO APPEARS 37
follow him. He was 'Tom' Harris, back in
" What! Are you Tom Harris's widow? Why,
he was one of the men I used to coach when I
first came back to Andover! You should have
let me know that you were bringing your boy
here. Well! Well! And when I heard the name,
I did not dream that it could be Tom's family."
" Yes, Tom used to speak about you very often,
but I didn't want your regard for Tom to influ-
ence your attitude towards my son. Besides, I
didn't know but that you might have forgotten
"Forget Tom Harris? I should say not! No
one could forget him and his record at Andover.
He was a wonder."
The Head, now embarked on reminiscences, re-
lated story after story of the way in which Tom
Harris, as a football star at Yale, had pulled vic-
tory out of defeat in critical moments; and before
Mrs. Harris left, she had good reason to feel that
she was in a friendly community. As she stood
in the hall saying " Good-bye," the Head spoke
a sympathetic word : " Don't be discouraged be-
cause the school authorities may seem at this busy
season a little indifferent to your Alfred. We
88 THE ANDOVER WAY
really are immensely interested, as you will soon
see. Only it is the traditional policy of this place
to urge each fellow to work out his own salvation.
Just let your boy alone for a year, and, if he
doesn't prove himself to be his father's son before
next June, I shall be disappointed. He must have
good stuff in him, it's bound to come out, and we
shall bring it out."
With these cheering words lingering in her
memory, Mrs. Harris returned to her room, met
Alfred, rode to the station with him, and kissed
him farewell in stoical fashion, without even the
trace of a tear. She even refrained from deliver-
ing the parting lecture which she had carefully
prepared after the model of those she had read in
school stories. When the boy said, " Mother, I'm
not sure that I'm going to like this place," she
simply answered, " Nonsense! You'll be right at
home within a week." And so, with more cour-
age than she had thought she possessed, she waved
to him from the car window; and Alfred Tenny-
son Harris, left alone for the first time in more
than eighteen years, walked thoughtfully up
School Street to his dormitory. He had been
well trained in books. His real education, how-
ever, was now about to begin.
THE HERO DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE
Later that evening, while Mrs. Harris was
leisurely eating her salad and listening to the
orchestra in the Copley Plaza Hotel, where she
was spending the night before going over to New
York, Alfred was reclining on his window-seat,
contemplating the artistic effect of a framed en-
graving of Amiens Cathedral, which he had just
suspended over his mantelpiece. He could ap-
preciate beauties like these because he had trav-
elled among them. He was steeped in meditation
on the marvellous charm of that medieval monu-
ment of stone, when there was a violent batter-
ing at his door, followed at once by the entrance
of three familiar figures, one of whom he recog-
nized as his guide of the morning. Sure enough,
it was Joe Watson, who had come with Ted Sher-
man and Hal Manning ostensibly to inquire about
the progress of his protege.
"Hello, Oscar," began Joe, with deceptive
suavity. " I see you're getting settled a bit. I
40 THE ANDOVER WAY
like your taste in room decoration. Those old
churches are fine, aren't they? ''
" Yes/' replied the flattered victim. " I'm very
fond of them. In fact I rather specialized in ec-
clesiastical architecture while I was in Italy and
Spain. Mother and I visited every cathedral we
could discover in the guide-book."
" Some day you must give a little talk to the
Society of Inquiry about these churches," sug-
gested Hal, in casual fashion. " There are plenty
of us who would go to listen."
" I should love to do that," responded Oscar
eagerly, " and I could illustrate it with some
slides which I had made for my lantern. I am
sure that it would be interesting."
" It would be interesting for us, have no fear,"
commented Ted Sherman, "and we must try to
put it through. But here we are neglecting our
business. You realize, of course, that we repre-
sent a small group of seniors who are particu-
larly interested in new men. Now we've taken
a special liking to you, and we want to make
sure that you get started right. It isn't very cold
this evening, but you'll be needing these radiators
in here before very long, and we thought that
we'd call on you and offer you an option on them
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 41
before anybody else carries them off. They're of
high quality, and we can let you have them at ten
dollars apiece for the two, — ^much less than cost
Oscar gasped! Almost since his babyhood he
had been familiar with the time-worn story of
the unsophisticated college freshman who had
been persuaded to pay money for the radiators
in his room. Could he actually look as simple-
minded as that? They must think him a moron!
Nevertheless he resolved to carry the joke through
and see how far they would go.
" The radiators! '' he exclaimed. " Those radi-
ators over there! I assumed that they went with
" Not when they can be sold/' replied Hal,
evasively. " They'll cost you only ten simoleons
each, and they're cheap at that."
" Well, sir, I suppose that I'll have to do what
you tell me," said Oscar, with a well-simulated
groan. "But Mother did not notify me about
that expense. Is there any other article which
I ought to purchase? "
**Not to-night," answered Hal, with a com-
mendable display of self-restraint, as he pocketed
the twenty-dollar bill which Oscar handed to him.
42 THE ANDOVER WAY
Such easy picking as this was not often to be met
with on Andover Hill!
" There'll be a chance later to subscribe to the
various academy organizations, though/' added
Ted, " and, if you want to make yourself popu-
lar right away, contribute liberally. Become
known as a philanthropist. Shell out all you can
spare, for it's a good investment. We'll help you
all we can, won't we, fellows? "
" We certainly will," chimed in Joe, with un-
concealed emotion. " We don't meet a * prep '
like you every week, Oscar, — a man who com-
bines intelligence and sympathy with wealth and
" Yes, we'll see you again, Oscar, my lad," said
Hal. " Ta-ta for the present. And, by the way,
don't let any one else sell you anything. There
are some crooks around this Hill who wouldn't
hesitate to cheat you out of your mother's photo-
graph. If they approach you, just inform them
that Mr. Harold C. Manning has been here ahead
" Very well, sir," replied Oscar in docile acqui-
escence. " I shall obey your instructions, sir."
With lingering hand-clasps the three pirates
withdrew and went chuckling down the stairs into
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 43
the night. A few minutes later they were assem-
bled in Steve's room, telling him the story.
"That's funny, all right,'' said Steve, "but
twenty iron men is just a bit too ix^uch like high-
way robbery. We can't keep that for ourselves.
I don't mind holding a ^ prep ' up for enough to
buy a feed, but "
" I know that," put in Hal, " but what are we
going to do? He just oozes money. We can't
very well return it to the poor fish with our
"I'll tell you," suggested Joe, "let's start a
fund for magazines in the Grill. We can add to
it a little at a time ourselves, and perhaps we can
even get more cash for it to-night."
Thus it was that the " Oscar Harris Fund " was
established without the knowledge of the donor;
and the income from it is devoted each year to
subscriptions for such periodicals as the Yale
Daily News and the Harvard Crimson, which are
read eagerly by frequenters of the Grill. When
the tale was later related to Oscar, he thoroughly
approved of the disposition which was made of
Just before the conclave broke up, Hal inquired,
" How do you feel now about the possibility of
44 THE ANDOVER WAY
making anything out of this Oscar, Steve? Don't
you think that it looks a little hopeless? "
" I'm ready to admit that the material is poor.
But there's a sporting possibility that he may
improve. I'm not going to abandon faith in this
school just yet."
With these comments on the situation, the four
friends went to their slumbers as seniors in the
Meanwhile Oscar was lying awake, very much
puzzled over the turn which events had taken.
On the boat coming over from Europe, his mother
had placed in his hands copies of Canon Farrar's
famous English school stories, Eric, or Little by
Little and St. Winifred's, or The World oj School,
It is significant of Oscar's ignorance that he ac-
tually never doubted that these preposterous
books gave a true picture of life at such a place
as Andover. From Eric's experiences at Roslyn,
Oscar had expected that he would be hazed, — in
fact had been rather looking forward to it. There
was an extraordinary scene when Eric's father had
intervened to prevent his son from being bullied;
and it is to Oscar's credit that he determined to
allow no one to protect him from injury. But
Oscar had not suspected that the older boys would
DISPLAYS HIS IGXORAXCE 45
take him for a fool; and this was evidently what
had occurred. It is no wonder that he needed
time to think.
What happened to Oscar within the next few
days may best be gathered, perhaps, from a letter
which his mother received just before she was
about to sail from New York. It ran as follows:
" De.\eest Mother:
*' You will be pleased to hear that I find
myself very comfortable in Andover, though there
are a few annoyances. An hour ago, when I was
quietly reading the copy of Montaigne's Essais
which you left with me, a group, of noisy young
men, apparently my neighbors in this dormitory,
entered my apartment without knocking and
forced me to accompany them outdoors, although
I was clothed only in my blue silk pajamas and
my red and black striped dressing-gown. When
I reached the campus, I confronted a throng of
undergraduates, some of whom requested that I
address them, calling repeatedly, ' We want Os-
car! We want Oscar! ' Although I was well
aware that I was being made an object of ridi-
cule, I mounted a barrel without protesting; but
whenever I started my discourse, I was struck in
the rear by some burly fellow, and I could never
say more than three or four words. I regret to
confess that the mob compelled me to open my
dressing-gown and display my pajamas with the
embroidered monogram. WTien I did this, they
gave me three distinct cheers. The name by
which they call me is ' Oscar,' and I judge from
46 THE ANDOVER WAY
some of their remarks that I am already well
" I find that I shall require rather more money
than I had anticipated. Last night I had to make
the customary subscriptions to the academy or-
ganizations, — twenty-five dollars, for instance, to
the Society of Inquiry, the religious club here, —
which must be in rather strange hands, for the
men who besought me for a contribution were
rough-looking and indulged occasionally in re-
marks which seemed to me ill-suited to repre-
sentatives of such a society.
" By to-morrow I shall have all my pictures up
and my china arranged in the cupboards so that
I can serve tea when any of my friends wish it.
I am sure that I shall enjoy my sojourn here,
even though all the students are not so refined as
I had expected.
Oscar was correct in at least one of his deduc-
tions, — there was no new man that autumn who
was better advertised than he. His crimson-and-
black gown of Chinese silk had attracted universal
attention, and he was soon recognized as a prize
" boob.'^ It was an unusual situation. Here was
a boy who could have escorted any one of the
undergraduates around a European capital and
made him feel like an ignoramus ; yet at Andover,
in a different environment, he was completely at
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 47
sea. However, in spite of his ridiculous early
training, he was far from stupid. He was usually
well aware when he was being "razzed," even
though he might be at a loss to discover what
pecuHarity of his was arousing so much amuse-
ment. He had resolved to keep his head, endure
his tribulations patiently, and learn as rapidly as
possible. One walk across the campus in his white
fedora taught him something, and within an hour
he had acquired the odd little " prep " cap, blue,
with a white button on top. It was not becom-
ing to him, but at least it did not make him con-
spicuous, for he saw caps of the same sort every-
where. His high, starched wing collar, which
had been quite in vogue on the Rue de Rivoli,
was, he perceived, quite out of keeping with the
soft negligees around him, and he made an invest-
ment in sport shirts. By the close of his first week,
Oscar had adopted the garb of most of his fel-
low students. His clothes were not in the pre-
vailing Andover mode, but he resolved to consult
an American tailor at the earliest opportunity and
have himself measured for a new suit or two.
He had, of course, visited Tony Caruso, the local
barber, for the clipping of his long locks and the
removal of the objectionable sideburns. All these
48 THE ANDOVER WAY
transformations naturally took some time, but, by
the first of October, Mrs. Harris would hardly
have recognized her offspring.
So far as textbooks and routine studies were
concerned, Oscar was unusually well-informed.
From an early age he had been in the charge of
excellent tutors, who had pushed him forward as
fast as he cared to go. But he had never set foot
in a classroom in his life, and he was unacquainted
with the methods pursued there. The prospect
of recitations, however, did not daunt him in the
least, for he had some justifiable vanity regard-
ing his attainments. For this reason, his pride
was destined to have a very heavy fall.
Actual study did not begin for two or three
days after his arrival, and Oscar devoted this in-
tervening period to an examination of his sur-
roundings. In a spirit of curiosity he wandered
over the hilltop, strolling across the broad play-
ing fields, prowling around the Gymnasium, and
even entering the Archaeology Museum, where the
courteous curator, Professor Moreton, in his de-
light at this evidence of undergraduate interest
in his subject, took pains to point out the rarer
skulls and relics. Gazing critically at the por-
traits of the Founders in the library, Oscar con-
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 49
eluded that they were inferior to those in the
Prado and the Louvre. He marvelled at the num-
ber and variety of the academy buildings, and at
the extent of the property. He finished his tour
of investigation with a feeling that he had be-
come a unit in a complex machine, with wheels
revolving within wheels, in which each under-
graduate, — even himself, — had a function to per-
When the regular morning chapel services
started, Oscar, whose religious training had been
hitherto somewhat desultory, was thrilled at be-
ing one of the more than six hundred men in the
great auditorium, and he was profoundly stirred
by the prayer of the Head, whose deep-toned and
powerful voice filled the amphitheatre. As soon
as the assembly was dismissed, Oscar made his
way to Pearson Hall, where he was scheduled on
his program to join a section in Senior English.
Desirous of making an impression, he went di-
rectly to the platform desk and interrupted the
teacher, who was busy making notes in a book.
" I thought I would inform you, sir, that I am
very much interested in English "
" And who are you, may I ask? " was the an-
50 THE ANDOVER WAY
" My name is Alfred Tennyson Harris, sir."
" You must be a new student this fall, aren't
you, Harris? "
" Yes, sir, I am. But I'm looking forward to
this course; it's just "
" Well, Harris," broke in Mr. Loring, " you may
see too much of it before you get through the
The instructor was a portly gentleman, with a
shock of heavy coal-black hair and an habitually
gloomy expression, who cherished an enthusiasm
for literature which he hardly dared to disclose
to his colleagues but which made him an inspira-
tion in the classroom. His students, with char-
acteristic irreverence, had named him " Dolly."
He had been at Andover for fifteen years and
boasted an acquaintance with every type of un-
dergraduate, from the shameless bluffer to the in-
corrigible " grind." Nothing ever astonished him
very much. In this instance, however, he could
not help looking up to see what manner of rara
avis had entered his course. A glance at Oscar's
ingenuous countenance sufficed to assure him that
the lad was in earnest and not trying to be
" fresh." He gestured to the nearest bench and
returned to his computations.
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 51
Oscar took a seat just under the teacher, where,
as he fondly believed, his talent would not be
ignored. Most of the others, he observed, had
modestly selected places in the rear of the room,
the consequence being that the front rows were
nearly all vacant. Oscar was thus very much by
himself; but he recognized in the far corners some
fellows whom he had already met, — Steve Fisher,
for example, and Joe Watson, whose huge bulk
could not be mistaken.
Waiting until the warning gong had rung at
seven minutes past eight, Mr. Loring then greeted
the class in a little talk, outlining for them the
work proposed for the term, — some rhetoric, a lit-
tle grammar, the study of English Literature, and
the careful reading of Shakespeare's Hamlet,
" But, sir,'' spoke up Oscar, after madly waving
his hand in the air and being recognized, " IVe
read Hamlet two or three times."
The sophisticated old-settlers in the room tit-
tered softly. This was an unexpected diversion!
But Mr. Loring was not in the least disturbed.
" We are indeed fortunate," he said in his dry
way. " Doubtless we shall have frequent occasion
to ask your opinion on the interpretation of diffi-
52 THE ANDOVER WAY
This time the boys could not restrain their
laughter, and Oscar, a trifle disconcerted, had
nothing more to say. The idea was penetrating
his brain that any too obvious effort to attract a
teacher's impression was simply not " good
form." Watching for a few minutes, he noticed
that most of the men were attending strictly to
business, jotting down items in notebooks and
going at their work seriously, but taking care not
to become conspicuous. He began to regret that
he had not picked a seat in a less public situation.
Now he was a marked man. He would be set
apart by the class as a " boot-licker " to be
shunned like a leper, — a survival of the " nice "
boy who, in grammar school, always brings ap-
ples and flowers to the teacher. This incident
gave Oscar food for reflection, and, in the end, was
Oscar had really no small gift for writing. As
a youngster, he had been surrounded by good
books and had read Robinson Crusoe and Gulli-
ver's Travels ahnost before he was able to walk.
Later he had devoured the historical stories of
G. A. Henty. His mother had insisted on read-
ing Scott and Dickens aloud to him, and he had
even hunted out such authors as Smollett and
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 53
Fielding. His latest idol had been Stevenson,
whose novels, essays, and poems had fascinated
him with their romantic charm. With this back-
ground, he had acquired a keen appreciation of
the best in literature, and was also able to write
with some correctness and ease. His first theme,
on the subject " My Generation," was so steeped
in Max Beerbohm and Aldous Huxley that Mr.
Loring could hardly credit his senses. " Why ! "
he burst out to one of his colleagues, " here's a
boy that looks like a comic character in a vaude-
ville skit, but he writes prose like a young Oscar
Wilde! I wish I knew who taught him his style.''
It was while he was still pathetically ignorant
regarding the Andover code of conduct that Oscar,
who cherished secret ambitions to become a poet,
resolved one evening to call formally on the Head.
Donning a dinner jacket as he would have done
in London or Paris, he somehow slipped out of his
dormitory without being observed by his neigh-
bors, who, if they had seen him thus arrayed in
purple and fine linen, would doubtless have stirred
up a commotion. When he was ushered into the
presence of the Head, Oscar was a little abashed,
but conducted himself nevertheless with so much
dignity that the older man was much puzzled as
54 THE ANDOVER WAY
to' the identity of his well-dressed young visitor.
Eventually concluding that the caller was a can-
didate for a vacancy on the teaching staff, he said
" Good-evening. I am glad to see you," and in-
vited him to remove his coat and sit down.
" Thank you, sir/' replied Oscar, who rose to
the occasion with the bearing of one thoroughly
accustomed to such treatment.
The two sat for a moment, and the Head, to
put his guest at ease, said, " Do you know, I'm
afraid I didn't catch your name. I forget faces
very easily; but somehow yours is familiar, al-
though I can't quite place it."
" I'm Alfred Tennyson Harris, sir," answered
Oscar, a bit weakly, " and I'm a student in the
"Well, well! " The Head burst into peals of
laughter. "And I took you for a college gradu-
ate! That's a good one, all right! Why, I had
a talk with your mother only a few days ago and
she told me all about you. And now, Harris,
what can I do for you? "
"Sir, I am ambitious to become a poet and
should like to ascertain the best channels in this
country for getting my verses known."
" Ah ! " commented the Head. He was begin-
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 55
ning to see what Oscar was like. "And no doubt
you have already written something? '^
" I haven't composed very much yet, but I'm
sure that I possess in some degree what has been
described as the ' divine afflatus/ IVe read many
volumes of poetry, and it's easy enough to do.
But I must, of course, find a publisher before I
can feel justified in devoting all my spare hours
"Yes, that is supposed by many to be essen-
tial,'' muttered the Head, stroking his chin
thoughtfully. " But I should like to see a speci-
men of your rhymes."
" I don't work in rhymes, sir, but I have one or
two little effusions with me," responded Oscar
with alacrity, drawing a notebook from his pocket.
Then, standing up and posing on the rug in front
of the mantelpiece, he declaimed in a loud voice:
** Winter, rough winter, I long for thee!
Thou com'st like a leaping Newfoundland dog,
With shaggy coat and rumbling growl,
And bitest at my sombre cheek! "
"Ah! " murmured the Head, almost inaudibly.
"An unusual metrical form! Just what is the
prevailing rhythm? "
"There isn't any," replied Oscar, a little dis-
56 THE ANDOVER WAY
countenanced. " It's vers lihre, — like the poems
of Amy Lowell and Ezra Pound and John Gould
Fletcher. Fletcher is an old Andover man, and
my work is something like his."
" Very like! Very like! " said the Head, as if
absorbed in thought. "And did a Newfoundland
dog ever bite your cheek? "
" Oh, no, sir, that's a figure of speech, — what is
called an hyperbole. Don't you recognize it? "
" Surely ! Now that you direct my attention to
the fact, I can see it all. And why do you use
the word ' sombre '? "
" It's just an adjective which I put in to in-
dicate that I am sad."
"Very sad! " said the Head, as if talking to
" You see, sir, it's what's called technically an
imagist poem. It is intended to stimulate the im-
agination. Can't you just see winter leaping
along and nipping people's ears? "
" Yes, my imagination does carry me that far."
" What ought I to do with this little sketch,
sir? Shall I submit it to the school magazine?
I'm ready to follow your suggestion."
" I should use it to light a fire," said the Head,
cruelly but honestly. " It's all tommy-rot! I'm
DISPLAYS HIS IGNORANCE 57
sorry to tell you that it isn't poetry at all. It's
drivel. You had better go back to your room and
read some Keats or Tennyson. Or else stick to
prose. You're on the wrong track here."
"Don't you think that Houghton, Mifflin or
some other publishers would accept a volume from
" You might possibly be able to sell it to Judge
or College Comics, But my candid counsel to you
is to write essays. It seems to me that Mr. Loring
told me that you had some promise in that field."
In a minute or two more Oscar was out in the
street, looking up at the silent stars and wishing
that he had never been born. The faculty gave him
no encouragement. They could not appreciate
genius like his. When he returned to the dormi-
tory he changed into his famous bathrobe and
then dropped down on the second floor for a chat
with " Bull " Taylor, a friend whom he had made
within the last few days. Seeking for comfort,
he divulged all the details of the affair to Bull,
and ended by reading him the selection.
" Gosh, that's terrible," said the stolid and tact-
less Bull. "It's the worst I ever heard for a
" Don't you think there's anything to it? "
58 THE ANDOVER WAY
" I should say not. It doesn't even rhyme, and
it hasn't any music to it at all. I'm surprised
that the Head didn't shoot you on the spot. You
ought to tear it up and forget all about poetry.
Poets don't make any money, anyway."
" I don't care about that. All I want is fame."
" You won't get it from that stuff, old top. My
advice to you is to tear it all up in small pieces
and fill the waste-paper basket. You'll go
' nutty ' if you keep on producing ' drool ' like
Buirs language was far from Addisonian, but
his derision accomplished something in the way
of results. Before going to bed Oscar sat down at
his desk, picked out all his manuscript poems, and
burned them one by one. Had not Bull an-
nounced that they were worthless? And Bull,
whose grade for the previous year in English had
been 42, probably never realized what a service to
literature he had performed.
THE HERO MAKES A FRIEND
Oscar's intimacy with Bull Taylor had been
fostered by an unusual combination of circum-
stances. Two or three weeks after school began
the geometry instructor, Mr. Spire, had given a
written test. It presented no diflSiculties to
Oscar; but, when the period had closed, he ap-
proached Mr. Spire's desk and said, " Sir, I don't
know whether I ought to tell you or not, but a
boy was looking on my paper and copying it all
through the hour."
Mr. Spire, who was only a few years out of
college and still retained the spirit of his under-
graduate days, almost shivered as he heard Oscar's
words. A wise and kindly man, he had been en-
trusted with many confidences, but never one of
precisely this sort. He studied Oscar's face in
order to learn the boy's motive. Finally he found
strength to speak.
"Are you trying to accuse one of your class-
mates of cribbing? "
60 THE ANDOVER WAY
" I thought, sir, that it would be only honor-
able on my part to inform the authorities. It
" Stop and think just a moment, Harris, before
you go on. I don't want to put you in the posi-
tion of reporting one of your fellow-students for
an offense against the regulations. It isn't done
here in Andover."
" I beg your pardon, sir," said Oscar, after a
moment's reflection. He was by no means obtuse,
and he could see that he had blundered. " I had
assumed that cribbing was a matter which any
honest man was bound to report. I'm sorry. I
am always making mistakes." And he turned
and walked away, still not a little confused in his
Oscar's perturbation was more natural than it
perhaps seems to be. He well remembered a
scene in Eric, or Little by Little in which one of
the principal characters, having been bullied by
an upper classman, promptly secured revenge by
reporting his troubles to the Headmaster. Oscar
would never have done this; but he did have a
high sense of honor which made him wish to settle
ethical problems in a right way. On his stroll
back to Wendell Hall he wondered whom he could
HE MAKES A FRIEND 61
consult on the question. So far he had no inti-
mate friends. Many of his neighbors in the dor-
mitory and the classroom spoke to him as they
passed on the campus, but nobody dropped in for
a chat or sat down with him after a game to talk
it over. Oscar felt keenly his isolation, — men of
his sensitive type always do, — but he saw no fea-
sible method of overcoming it. It was not that he
did not wish to associate with others, for, with all
his peculiarities, he was not at heart either proud
or snobbish. It was simply that he did not know
how to meet others on their level.
Just below Oscar, on the second floor of Wendell
Hall, roomed a fellow whom Oscar occasionally
met in the corridor. He was registered in the
catalogue as Emmet O'Brien Taylor, from Brook-
lyn, but he was never called by any name except
" Bull." Bull was certainly no Adonis. He was
short, broad-shouldered, and red-haired, with a
stubby nose and a mouth always open in a good-
natured grin. His ordinary gait was a kind of
slouch, his arms hanging as if he were ready at
any moment for a fight. He had a special fond-
ness for old and tattered garments, especially
shirts and sweaters, some of which resembled
museum relics. His speech had a kind of Bowery
62 THE ANDOVER WAY
twang, and he said " woild " and " woik " just as
naturally as Hal Manning said " cahn't " and
" rahther." To put it mildly, Bull was a diamond
in the rough.
But with all these external eccentricities, Bull
had a host of loyal friends. Most of the men
who knew him realized that he was working his
way through Andover by waiting on table in the
" Beanery " and running a laundry agency.
They had heard him tell vividly of the days when
he had sold papers at one end of Brooklyn Bridge.
His father and mother had died when he was
small, and he had no family except an old uncle,
who fed and clothed him in return for the money
which the youngster could make by selling news-
papers on the street. The boy had been helped
by an Andover alumnus, who, attracted by his
cheerful smile, had put him in a grammar school
and had then sent him to the Head, with a letter
describing his past. He had now been four years
at Andover, and he was struggling hard for his
diploma. It is an interesting fact that it was
of Bull that Oscar first thought when he started
out on his quest for information.
So it was that, when the eight o'clock bell rang
that evening and everybody, according to the
HE MAKES A FRIEND 63
academy regulations, was supposed to be engaged
in study, Oscar descended to the floor below and
knocked on Bull's door.
" Come in, come in," a harsh voice shouted, and
Oscar rather timidly turned the knob and peeked
"Come in, you dodo," roared Bull, not yet
aware who his caller was. "Don't stand there
"Will you allow me to talk with you for a
brief period? " inquired Oscar, in a faltering man-
" Sure, Mike! " responded Bull. " Blaze away!
I'm a generous pup, I am! Got hours to burn!
Sit down, Oscar, and tell me all your troubles."
Oscar sat down gingerly on the edge of the
chair which Bull shoved in his direction.
" What's the matter? Afraid there's a spike in
it? It's the only extra seat I've got, but I thought
it was all right."
"No, I'm not exactly frightened," said Oscar,
smiling at Bull's remark. " I just don't want to
bother you, that's all. And besides, I have an
idea that you'll think I'm a fool."
" Oh, what difference does it make? " replied
Bull, beginning to comprehend Oscar's shyness.
64 THE ANDOVER WAY
" I'm really not busy now. My Geometry for to-
morrow's a * cinch/ and my Cicero is all done.
I'm glad to see you, Oscar. Anything on your
"Yes, there is," Oscar blurted out, gathering
courage. " I know I'm queer, but I can't under-
stand some of these school customs. You see,
I've lived abroad for quite a few years, and I've
always eaten and slept in hotels. I've hardly ever
seen any fellows of my own age."
" Gosh, what a life! " interjected Bull. " Didn't
you hate it? "
"Not so much then, t^ die it was going on. I
didn't know any better. My mother and I were
together most of the time, and there was usually
a tutor around, — some Frenchman or Italian. Of
course I forgot everything about the United
States. And here I am in America, back in my
own country, and everybody thinks I'm a freak.
Somehow I don't fit in."
" Oh, it's not so bad as all that. Give yourself
a little time. You'll come through flying."
" Well, here's a case, Bull." Regaining his self-
confidence, Oscar settled back in the chair and
explained the cribbing episode of the morning.
" I hate," he went on, "to see anybody do a mean
HE MAKES A FRIEND 65
trick and not get caught. I just took it for
granted that it was my duty to report the matter.
I'd have done the same about a burglary. But
it didn't take me long to see that I had committed
a faux pas"
" I don't know exactly what that is," answered
Bull, " but whatever it is, you did it. You see,
it's like this in Andover. The best fellows don't
do any cribbing. You'll never find Joe Watson
or Steve Fisher trying to get away with that kind
of thing. But there can't help being some bad
actors in any crowd of six hundred boys from all
over the country. So? ^ of them do crib and
aren't caught at it. Ihey're not the men who
are respected, but nobody would ever tell on them.
It's a queer phase of the honor question, I sup-
pose, but there's a feeling that it isn't right to
' blab ' on another man. The theory may be all
wrong, but we all believe in it, even the ' profs.'
That's why ' Benny ' Spire didn't want to listen
to you. If he had ^ nailed ' the fellow himself, he
would have had him ' fired ' ; but he didn't think
it was good sportsmanship in you to furnish him
with the evidence. Does that help to get you
" I see the point," said Oscar, reflectively.
66 THE ANDOVER WAY
" But it looks to me a good deal like compound-
ing a felony."
" There you are talking over my head again! "
was Buirs reply. " But, anyhow, I'm sure that
I shouldn't report anything like that. I should
be ashamed to do it."
"Well, perhaps the fellow will get found out
" He will; don't worry. It's only a question of
time. He probably will be dropped before
That little talk with Bull was the beginning of
a staunch friendship between the two boys, — one
fastidious, refined, and sensitive, the other rough,
uncultured, and thick-skinned, but trying his hard-
est to learn the ways of the world to which Oscar
belonged. Bull recognized and respected in Oscar
some qualities which he himself would have been
glad to possess, — tact, self-control, and ease. Os-
car, for his part, perceived in Bull a robustness
and virility which he envied. It was not long
before Oscar had Bull to defend him against any
unwarranted attack, — and Bull was a supporter
whose aid in a crisis was likely to be decisive.
The two made a humorous contrast, especially
when, as often happened, they went together to
HE MAKES A FRIEND 67
class, Oscar immaculate in a suit and overcoat
made by Dunne, Bull in a gaudily colored lum-
berman's jacket of an ancient vintage.
Never having been subjected to a routine of
any kind, Oscar was almost daily coming into
conflict with some restriction of which he had not
heard. In the first place, he neglected to secure
his Blue Book, — a thin little volume codifying
the academy rules and traditions and giving the
"preps'' some excellent advice. On one bright
morning after his English recitation Oscar started
to walk down Main Street in order to get a check
cashed at the bank. Before he had reached Mor-
ton Street he was stopped by an older man, who
said, " Look here, prep, what are you doing in this
locality? Don't you know that you are forbidden
to go down-town by way of Main Street? You
must be a fresh one, all right ! " Having changed
his course to Bartlet Street, he reached his desti-
nation without any further interruptions; but,
when he called at the Registrar's ofiice the next
day, he found a " cut " recorded against his name
for " being down-town without permission during
study hours." Some teacher had seen and re-
ported him, and he, of course, had not taken the
precaution of securing an excuse from his " house-
68 THE ANDOVER WAY
prof," Mr. Randall; indeed, the boy had not been
aware that a signed excuse was required. When
Oscar complained of injustice, the Registrar, Mr.
Foxcroft, smiled blandly and said, as he had said
in dozens of similar cases, " Ignorance of the law
is no excuse."
That evening Oscar went out of Wendell Hall
at nine o'clock to mail a letter at the letter-box
on the corner. He was absent only four or five
minutes; but, during that period, " Weary " Ran-
dall made an inspection of the dormitory, and,
finding Oscar out of his room, put him down for
another cut. A night or two later, hearing a fear-
ful tumult in the corridor, Oscar naturally stepped
out to investigate the cause of the commotion.
As he stood idly watching a wrestling match
which was going on among some of the smaller
boys, Mr. Randall mounted the stairs in his bath-
robe, his face flushed with indignation, and, catch-
ing sight of Oscar, snapped out, " Go to your
room, Harris, and consider that you've earned a
demerit." When Oscar began to assert his inno-
cence, Mr. Randall, who was in no mood for abso-
lute justice, silenced him and proceeded to dis-
cover and punish the real " rough-housers." Os-
car, making another visit to the Registrar, found
HE MAKES A FRIEND 69
now that he had acquired a black mark, which
could not be removed; and he was horror-stricken
to learn that eight of these would mean his dis-
missal from the school. Thus he found himself,
almost before the term had started, with two
" cuts " and one demerit, — from his point of
view a shameful situation, although to Bull it
seemed laughable. " Cuts " and demerits were
no novelty to Bull.
Worse than this, however, Oscar unwittingly-
made himself seem to be defiant of school eti-
quette. When the lad who sat next to him at the
" Beanery,'' — as the Dining Hall was affection-
ately and familiarly called, — asked him one after-
noon to go up to watch the football practice, Os-
car calmly announced that he had planned to read
some French magazines, adding that he had no
interest in football. After this astonishing state-
ment, he was shunned as if he were a Bolshevist.
But as soon as Oscar became acquainted with
Bull Taylor, his mistakes commenced to decrease
in number and in seriousness. He formed the
habit of consulting Bull on any doubtful matters,
and the latter^s knowledge and native common
sense saved Oscar from many a ridiculous blunder.
Some of Oscar's adventures were more amusing
70 THE ANDOVER WAY
than important. Once, at the behest of Hal
Manning, he called at the Chemical Laboratory
to ask Mr. Lapham, the instructor, for a gallon
of carbon monoxide to kill the ants in Phillips
Hall. The teacher, after some searching inquiries,
learned how the land lay and ordered Oscar to
tell Hal to come himself. Hal, needless to say,
did not appear, but he was later summoned to an
interview with Mr. Lapham, from which he
emerged a sadder and in some respects a wiser
It was in accordance with a suggestion made
by Mr. Lynton that Oscar had signed up at the
" Beanery " instead of at one of the private
boarding-houses. Mr. Lynton had explained that
any new man ought to eat where he could become
acquainted with a large number of fellows, — not
in a private house, where there would be only a
small group. The " Beanery " was a beautiful
colonial brick building, more than a century old,
surrounded by tall elms. The average under-
graduate, however, saw little of its charm. To
him it was a place where, three times a day, sev-
eral hundred of his mates assembled to perform
the function of eating, and which, during those
periods, was alive with noise and activity, with
HE MAKES A FRIEND 71
student waiters rushing from table to table, and
an atmosphere of " Finish as soon as you can! "
Bull Taylor was one of the managers on the floor,
having risen to this position of authority after
long experience in other capacities. The food,
although simple, was nourishing, and there was
plenty of it. It was, from the hygienic stand-
point, exactly suited to the young animals who
were there to be fed.
Oscar, however, had been accustomed to some-
what different fare. In Paris he and his mother
had usually dined at restaurants like Voisin's and
Foyot's, famous for their cuisine. It was a sharp
descent from fillet of beef, crepe suzette, and
French pastry to baked beans and brown bread,
shredded wheat, and apple pie. Mrs. Harris had
directed him to complain to the authorities if he
was not satisfied; and once, when the menu had
not been particularly appealing, he walked into
the office of Mr. Slater, the Academy Treasurer,
who was responsible for the Dining Hall manage-
ment. Mr. Slater was beloved by everybody in
Andover because of his sympathy and kindness,
and it seemed to devolve upon him always to pour
oil upon the troubled waters. Wherever there
was dissension or irritability among the faculty
72 THE ANDOVER WAY
his services were indispensable, and his diplomacy
was a valuable asset to the school. He was in-
variably one of the first to be sought out by re-
turning alumni, and the boys delighted to call at
his hospitable home.
When Oscar introduced himself, Mr. Slater re-
ceived him cordially. " I knew your father,
' Tom ' Harris, very well indeed," he said. " He
was a member of my society here and at Yale,
and, although he was younger than I, I used to
meet him often. He was a mighty fine athlete.
If you take after him, you'll make your mark at
" I'm afraid that I don't, sir," replied Oscar, for
once much ashamed of his undeveloped muscles
and unimpressive physique. " I have never had
a chance to do anything in outdoor games."
" That's too bad," answered Mr. Slater, taking
a look at Oscar's narrow chest and thin legs.
"Perhaps we can get you into athletics before
long. You must call at my house some time and
talk it over with me. But that will come later.
What can I do for you just now? "
" Well, I hate to be a kicker," went on Oscar,
after a little pause of embarrassment, " but I did
want to speak about the food at the * Beanery.' "
HE MAKES A FRIEND 73
"At the 'Beanery'! What's the matter with
the food there? Most of the boys seem to thrive
on it all right."
" It may be good enough for some people, but
it doesn't seem very appetizing to me."
" Suppose you be perfectly frank and tell me a
few of your criticisms, won't you? Perhaps I can
institute a reform."
" Well, to begin with, they never give us any
hors-d'oeuvres or salad."
"No hors-d'oeuvres or salad!" echoed the
amazed Mr. Slater.
" Not a bit ! And we don't get any light flaky
pastry such as I have been used to."
" Anything else? " asked the Treasurer.
" Well, they never serve us any except the com-
mon ordinary kinds of jellies; and the cream for
breakfast isn't as thick as I should like to have it."
It took very strong provocation to rouse Mr.
Slater to anger, but he was obviously on the verge
of committing homicide.
" Look here, young man," he finally said, in a
voice which he found it difficult to control. " You
evidently think that you are living at the Ritz.
Don't you realize that, at the price which you
pay, we can't afford to provide you with alligator
74 THE ANDOVER WAY
pears and artichokes? Furthermore, can't you
understand that such delicacies are not what the
average young man wants or ought to have? The
boys in this school are building up their bodies.
They should have simple food, like beef and pota-
toes and bread and butter. Why, look at you, my
lad ! If you had been brought up on oatmeal and
steak, you would be a stronger fellow to-day.
That's your trouble. You've had too much lux-
ury all your life."
" Maybe you're right," said Oscar, with a sickly
grin on his face. Nobody had ever talked to him
like this before. He was beginning to see that he
had been a fool.
" You go back to the Dining Hall, Harris, and
eat the food there until Christmas. If you have
lost any weight by then, I'll see that you're trans-
ferred somewhere else. But suppose you try it
" I guess I've learned a lesson, Mr. Slater," an-
swered Oscar, with just a note of discouragement
in his voice. " Sometimes I think that I spend
most of my time discovering how big a jackass a
fellow can be.'*
" That's what this school is for, my boy," re-
sponded Mr. Slater, rising and putting his hand
HE MAKES A FRIEND 75
sympathetically on Oscar's shoulder. " Just come
always and tell me out in the open when you have
anything to object to, and we'll try to adjust it.
Only I don't want you fellows going around and
complaining without letting me hear it. I'm re-
sponsible for the ' Beanery/ as you call it, and I
try to have things right there. And now that I've
preached my sermon, you'll drop in again, won't
" I certainly will, sir, if you'll let me. And I
want to apologize for taking up so much of your
" That's all right. Come in again." And Mr.
Slater was left with another anecdote to add to
his collection of Andover stories.
To Oscar, this was merely another one of the
train of incidents which caused him to do some
deep meditating. Those narrow-minded people
who believe that education is derived solely from
text-books will perhaps not understand Oscar's
case. There was nothing slow about his mind,
and, once a lesson was impressed upon him, he did
not forget it. As a result primarily of observation,
he acquired that stoicism which should be the nec-
essary equipment of any strong man, either in
school or in life. He learned better than to com-
76 THE ANDOVER WAY
plain of food or lesions or rough treatment.
When jokes were perpetrated at his expense, he
merely smiled good-naturedly in reply; and be-
fore very long he had developed a brand of rep-
artee which won him something of a reputation.
The trouble was that his whole past, — eighteen
years of it, — had been occupied with the formation
of habits from which it was not now easy to break
away. It was hard to avoid ordering the "-Dean-
ery" waiters around; but when he watched one
of them, a stalwart football-player, administer
corporal chastisement to a fresh " prep," Oscar
saw in which direction discretion lay. It was an
ordeal to get accustomed to soft collars and lounge
clothes and knickerbockers; it was not easy to
acquire the slang, — or, as his rhetoric book put it,
the " localisms," — which he heard all around him;
and the classroom instruction, carried on by sar-
castic instructors, seemed to him relentless. But
little by little he went through that process of ad-
justment to new surroundings which is always
difficult, whether with animals or human beings;
and by Christmas he felt himself to be part of
It was Bull Taylor, after all, who had been his
chief teacher, and Oscar recognized the obliga-
HE MAKES A FRIEND 77
tion; but he saw that it would not be good form
to say much about it. One evening Bull, in a lazy
mood, picked up a copy of Oscar's Eric, or Little
by Little, which was lying on the table. Sud-
denly he burst into loud laughter. " Look here,"
he roared. " Just listen to this:
" ^ They sat down on a green bank just beyond
the beach, and watched the tide come in, while
the sea-distance was crimson with the glory of
evening. The beauty and the murmur filled them
with a quiet happiness, not untinged with the
melancholy thought of parting the next day.
" ^ At last Eric broke the silence. " Russell,
let me always call you Edwin, and call me Eric."
" * " Very gladly, Eric. Your coming here has
made me so happy." And the two boys squeezed
each other's hands, and looked into each other's
faces, and silently promised that they would be
loving friends forever.'
"Did you ever listen to any such bunk as
that! " he shouted, as he threw the book at Os-
car's head. "That author knows boy nature,
doesn't he? I'd like to talk with him about half
an hour and tell him a few things from my busy
"Yes, he certainly writes mush," answered
Oscar. "And the funny part of it is that I once
believed all that he wrote."
78 THE ANDOVER WAY
" It^s queer, isn't it? " said Bull, in a meditative
mood not very common with him. " Here I am,
just grown up out of the streets. I never was in
Europe and probably never shall be. I never
have had a room in a decent hotel, and the only
theatres IVe ever been in have been movie pal-
aces. Sometimes IVe actually had to go without
food for twenty-four hours, and once I slept on a
bench in Central Park. IVe really never known
what luxury is. And here you are, a pampered
pet, with everything you could possibly want.
It's strange that I should be here sitting in your
room. You don't realize how strange it is; you
"And yet you have gotten much more out of
life than I have," interposed Oscar. "You
learned somehow to take care of yourself and get
along with other people. And here I am, just
what you call a common ' dub/ without any hope
for the future. I'd change places with you any
" Not if you knew the facts," was Bull's reply.
"Anyhow, we could never have become friends in
any other school that I know of."
" I'm not so sure," answered Oscar. " Don't
you remember what Kipling says:
HE MAKES A FRIEND 79
** *For there shall be neither East nor West, nor bor-
der, nor breed, nor birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though
they come from the ends of the earth.' "
"Well, we're the two strong men, all right,"
was Buirs jocular comment. "And we do come
almost from the ends of the earth, — Paris, France,
and Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn! Let's pray that
Kipling had the right dope! "
THE HERO DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES
Because Oscar had been a rather delicate baby,
he had seldom been permitted by his adoring
mother to join in competitive sports with other
boys. It is almost literally true that he had
never, until he reached Andover, seen a football
game or watched a race upon the cinder track.
He had done some swimming at the Lido and
Deauville, and he had learned how to play a skil-
ful game of billiards; but his progress as an ath-
lete had gone no farther than this. The mere
thought of violent physical exercise was abhorrent
to him, simply because he had come to think of
his body as irreparably weak and useless. He had
tested the effects of many brands of pills and
tonics, but he had never lifted a weight nor
pounded a punching-bag. It must be confessed
also that he had formed the cigarette habit and
smoked surreptitiously, concealing the odor by a
judicious use of peppermint lozenges.
Thus, while he had been advancing mentally
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 81
ahead of most lads of his age, he was physically
very much their inferior. His muscular father,
who had been the most daring plunging halfback
of his time, would have been discouraged if he had
lived to see his only son. Unfortunately Mrs.
Harris had early arrived at the conviction that
Alfred Tennyson was a confirmed invalid, who
was doomed to ill health for the remainder of his
days and who must be carefully watched if his life
were to be spared. She took every precaution to
be sure that his feet did not get wet or his neck
become chilled. The only noticeable result was
that he passed each winter through a series of
colds and other infections, hardly recovering from
one before he contracted another. It is no won-
der that the boy looked forward to a New England
winter with dread.
Shortly after the recitation work started, there
was issued in chapel one morning a call for all
new students to report at the Gymnasium for
physical examination and classification. Oscar,
having learned enough by this time to obey in-
structions, appeared punctually at the designated
place, where he was told to remove his clothes.
Three months before, Oscar would have looked
upon this as an indignity, but he was now less
82 THE ANDOVER WAY
sensitive, and he was soon standing in a line,
awaiting his turn for inspection. As his eyes fell
upon some of those near him, he was amazed to
note how muscular and athletic many of them
looked to be. Glancing shyly down at his own
flabby biceps and attenuated legs, he felt for the
first time in his life a twinge of self-pity. Up to
this moment in his career he had never devoted
a thought to physical strength, — ^' brute force"
his mother would have called it, — ^but now he was
getting a hint as to how important a factor it
might be in life. There were, of course, a few
boys around him who were weaklings; but, being
no fool, he could see that he was far below the
average lad of his age in development, and he
suddenly felt a desire to be healthy and strong, as
most of them obviously were. Although he did
not appreciate it then, that desire was a turning-
point in his evolution into manhood.
When his turn in the line was reached. Dr.
Rogers, the Physical Director, looked up at him
from his desk. He was a man of medium stature,
with a black moustache and hair, very quick in
his gestures and direct in his manner. Oscar in-
stinctively felt that he would stand no nonsense.
^^Well, young man," he said, "you have not
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 83
overworked yourself at regular exercise, have
" No, sir, I fear that I have been neglectful of
myself in that respect. No one can regret it
more than I."
A little astonished at Oscar's maturity of
speech, the physician asked him some searching
questions about his ancestry, his previous mode
of living, and his accidents and diseases. Oscar
explained with complete frankness just what kind
of a sheltered existence he had led, and Dr. Rogers
displayed much interest in his story. He then
put the boy through a thorough examination of
his heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears, and feet,
called one of his assistants and had Oscar weighed
and measured, and saw that all the details were
accurately recorded on a large yellow card. Then,
after glancing over the statistics, he spoke to him
in a manner which Oscar never forgot :
" Harris, so far as I can find out, you're abso-
lutely sound physically; in fact, you have evi-
dently inherited a frame which might make you
an athlete. The trouble is that you have refused
to give your body a fair chance. You have eaten
unwisely, pampered yourself when you should
have been out in the woods hunting or fishing.
84 THE ANDOVER WAY
and smoked altogether too much, — ^you should not
smoke at all. If you had taken any systematic
exercise whatever, you wouldn't be the poor soft
thing you are to-day. There are boys in that
line two or three years younger than you who
could lay you on your back in a minute. It's a
shame that a fellow with such a fine start as you
have had should have become what you are now.
But then there's no good in dreaming about what
might have been."
" Isn't there some treatment I can follow to put
myself in good condition? I'm willing to try
" Yes, there is still hope. Fortunately you look
as if you had some intelligence, and you evidently
realize where you stand and are ambitious to im-
prove. That's a good share of the battle. The
main thing for the present is to stay outdoors all
you can, stop smoking, and breathe plenty of
fresh air. I'm going to assign you to the walking
squad for a while, and that will give you a start."
" What is the walking squad, sir? "
" It's made up of boys who are not in condition
to go out for games, like soccer and football.
They take cross-country walks with one of my
assistants four times a week."
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 85
" But, sir, I don't want to be assigned to an
aggregation of cripples. I'll work day and night
to make myself strong, indeed I will.''
^' There's only one straight road to health,
Harris, and that is through systematic daily ex-
ercises. They ought to build you up rather
rapidly, especially if you will quit smoking abso-
lutely, eat sensible food, and give yourself plenty
"Is it not possible, sir, to take some extra
exercises in my own room? "
" Certainly, if you like. I can give you a
whole series. Only you must be careful not to go
too fast, for, if you do, you may injure yourself
permanently. It took you quite a while to get
yourself into this condition, you know, and it may
be some weeks before you feel the results. Every-
thing depends on the determination and persist-
ence which you show. It's lucky for you that
you have no organic weakness."
Oscar thanked Dr. Rogers and left the Gym-
nasium with an inflexible resolution to make
himself physically strong. His decision was
bolstered up by an incident which occurred that
evening in Wendell Hall. He came back to his
room after dinner to find that his entire door had
86 THE ANDOVER WAY
disappeared, having been removed from its hinges
and carried away during his absence. All his be-
longings were, of course, open to inspection by
every passer-by. Oscar was gazing rather dis-
consolately at the sight and wondering what he
could do to seclude himself from the public, when
he heard a soft chuckle. Turning around, he saw
a small stockily-built youngster named Carl
Woodward grinning at him from the stairs.
" You little ruffian," shouted Oscar, in a tone
which his mother would have thought decidedly
unrefined. " You did this. You bring that door
back or I'll break your neck. Right away, too! "
For once his equanimity was really disturbed.
" Come on, four eyes! " cried the boy tauntingly
in a shrill voice. " You couldn't hurt a flea! "
Enraged at this open defiance, Oscar, forgetting
all discretion, rushed at his mocker, only to find
him supported by a group of gleeful youngsters,
all dancing up and down and thumbing their
noses at him in derision. When he darted at
Carl, they jumped at him and threw him to the
floor, where he lay panting, with Carl perched
triumphantly on his chest. Meanwhile a crowd
of the older men in the dormitory had gathered,
drawn by the cheers of the victors, and were gaz-
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 87
ing with amusement at the sight. Oscar's spec-
tacles had fallen off, his hair was in disorder, and
collar and necktie were askew; and the worst of
it was that he could not possibly get up, no matter
how frantically he struggled. He was like Gulliver
captured by the Lilliputians. Even as he lay
there helpless, he could not help thinking what
Bull Taylor would have done under similar cir-
cumstances. Here he was, at least two years
older than any one of his tormentors and a good
deal taller; yet he could do nothing to defend
himself. He could have wept in sheer anger and
" Look here, four eyes," said Carl, who, in spite
of his five feet, six inches, was a well-knit and
muscular lad who played end on his club eleven.
"I'll fight you alone if these others will keep
"Hooray! Hooray! Fight! Fight! " shouted
the ecstatic bystanders, eager to promote the
"Let him up, Carl," said Joe Watson, who
happened to be in the dormitory on a visit to a
friend. "If there's going to be any fight, I'll
arrange for it."
Carl stood up, with his friends around him.
88 THE ANDOVER WAY
Then Oscar struggled to his feet, a dejected figure
with his shirt pulled out and blood on his face
from a scratch over his eye. The spectators
waited expectantly to hear what he had to say.
" Do you want to fight Carl, Oscar? '^ inquired
Joe Watson hopefully.
" No," responded Oscar, as if bewildered. " I
"Coward! Coward!" jeered the small boys,
disappointed of their fun. Oscar was just about
to rouse himself to action when there was a sud-
den calm, and he looked up to see Mr. Randall
approaching. He had heard the tumult, and had
rushed up to quell the riot.
As the members of the gathering saw him com-
ing, a few of those on the edges attempted to steal
nonchalantly off, as if the whole affair were none
of their business. The presence of an instructor
on such an occasion is always a trifle disconcert-
ing, and no one feels exactly at ease. Mr. Ran-
dall's entrance had been decidedly dramatic.
" This is a fine mess, gentlemen," he said iron-
ically, looking first at the little fellows and then
at Oscar's sad visage. " Go to your rooms at
once. You come with me, Harris. As for you,
Watson, I should think that, as a member of the
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 89
Student Council, you would have enough decency
not to encourage a scene like this."
Joe, much abashed, muttered something which
was inaudible; but there was really nothing for
him to say. Making the best of an unpleasant
predicament, he slimk off, accompanied by two or
three other seniors who had come in his train.
When Steve Fisher heard of Joe's part in the af-
fair and of his ludicrous exit, he did not let him
forget it for a long, long time.
Oscar obediently followed Mr. Randall back to
his own room, where he changed his shirt and
collar and then, rather incoherently, told his tale.
" I'll put that gang of rascals all on room pro-
bation at once," said the instructor. There were
moments during the recital when he had to bite
his lip to keep from laughing out loud, but he
controlled himself and tried to preserve his ortho-
dox pedagogical severity.
" Oh, please don't, sir, please don't ! " begged
Oscar appealingly. " It was my fault really. If
I had not been such a poor excuse for a man,
they would have been afraid to do it. What hurts
me most is that I should have let myself be
beaten by a crowd of much smaller boys. And
then I didn't dare to fight. I'm a noble figure, I
90 THE ANDOVER WAY
am! " And then, a new idea in his mind, he went
on, " Just wait for two months! I'll show them
then! I'll get my revenge yet! "
"Very well! Just as you say, Harris! Only
I can't have any more mob scenes like this. If
you can adjust the matter between you, I won't
say a word. But I will make sure that the door
is put bsujk again by to-morrow morning." With
this, he left Oscar to his unhappy cogitations.
Oscar did not sleep much that night; but, when
he rose the next day, he was a person animated
by one dominating motive. Like a man afflicted
with monomania, he became the most assiduous
devotee of physical exercise in Andover. He
found in a magazine the advertisement of a pro-
fessional strong man, which read as follows:
" There is nothing else like my method, and
there is nothing else that will as quickly or surely
give you the big, bulging muscles and crushing
strength that every red-blooded man wants.
. . . I drive heavy nails through many layers
of oak and iron with my bare hands. I am able
to bend heavy steel bars into carefully worked
designs. I perform feats of strength that aston-
ish thousands with the sheer power of muscle that
my system has given me; and this same method
can give the same power to you."
For weeks his mail was filled with the circulars
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 91
of bare-torsoed giants, with huge knotted mus-
cles and superhuman power, who guaranteed to
transform bedridden invalids into Samsons within
three months. His etchings of cathedrals were
stowed away in a closet and replaced by framed
photographs of great athletic heroes, like Paavo
Nurmi, "Babe'' Ruth, "Jack" Dempsey, and
Sandow. He purchased every conceivable va-
riety of instrument for body development, and
his room became a small gymnasium. To the
music of a phonograph, he took one "daily
dozen '' when he got up and another series before
he went to bed. He laid out a schedule of diet,
in which beefsteak, oatmeal, and raw eggs had a
prominent place. During his vacant periods he
haunted the Gymnasium, where he swung Indian
clubs and dumbbells and pestered Dr. Rogers
with questions on anatomy and hygiene. Four
times a week he went reluctantly with the walk-
ing squad on hikes to Pomp's Pond or Prospect
Hill, and was visibly annoyed when the pace was
slow or the walk not long enough to suit him.
Each night he went to bed tired but happy, and
he was delighted to observe how well he was feel-
ing. His studies did not suffer, for, as has been
intimated, he was so quick at books that he
92 THE ANDOVER WAY
needed to spend very little time on his prepara-
Oscar, moreover, ceased to read "highbrow"
magazines and the English classics and took up
stories of the " great open spaces," where '' men
are men," — books by Jack London and Rex
Beach and Stewart Edward White, — books in
which members of the Northwestern Mounted
Police travel hundreds of miles on snowshoes
through the frozen wilderness in quest of a crim-
inal, struggling on even when they are afflicted
by snow-blindness and weakened by scurvy, and
finally bringing the victim back to Moose Factory
to be punished. He bought tales of the prize
ring, like Jack London's The Game and Conan
Doyle's The Croxley Master and Rodney Stone.
He read Dibble's Life oj John L. Sullivan and
Corbett's The Lure of the Croiod. What he
wanted most now was " he-man " stuff, in which
exhibitions of moral and physical courage were
described. He used to dream that he, Alfred
Tennyson Harris, was a trapper or a cowboy or
a frontier desperado, indifferent to pain and un-
afraid of any rival. Bull Taylor used to laugh
when Oscar told him some of these stories, but
Oscar always ended up by saying, " Bull, I tell
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 93
you it's terrible to realize how helpless a man is
unless he has a strong body. He is at the mercy
of any bandit. Anybody can do anything to him
he wants to.''
" Even a little chap like Carl Woodward, I sup-
pose! " chuckled Bull, who could see what was
going on in Oscar's brain.
"Yes, even Carl," admitted Oscar, without
smiling. " But it won't always be that way with
me. Just feel that triceps, Bull! Don't you
think that it's getting larger? "
And Bull, who had been making similar in-
spections daily, had to admit that Oscar was
profiting by his course of instruction. He even
was led to take an interest in football, and, on the
morning of the big game with Exeter, he was just
as nervous as Bull, who was one of the players.
When the Andover eleven, on a slippery field,
won from their rivals by a score of forty to noth-
ing, Oscar almost went wild; and at the celebra-
tion in the evening, he insisted on being one of
those to draw the triumphal car in which Steve
Fisher, Joe Watson, Bull Taylor, and the other
heroes of the day were borne in glory through
the Andover streets. But all this has been told
elsewhere, and need not be recounted again here.
94 THE ANDOVER WAY
Just before Thanksgiving the regular tramps of
the walking squad were abandoned for the term,
and Oscar formed the habit of taking long runs
into the country along the woodland trails. One
afternoon he happened to be passed by the cross-
country squad on one of their practice jaunts, and
he fell in behind the last man, wondering how
long he could keep up. To his satisfaction, he
found that the pace was not at all too fast for
him, and he followed them without difficulty until
they reached the Gymnasium, having covered at
least three miles. As soon as the runners dis-
persed, Oscar went up to Kid Wing, the Cross-
country Captain, and asked him whether he could
join the squad. Wing was a tall, rangy fellow,
probably not far from twenty, who had won many
prizes for distance running. Oscar had never
spoken to him before.
" What's your name? " demanded Kid, looking
critically at the slender, spectacled figure before
"Harris! Fm a *prep,' in the senior class."
" Have you ever done any running? "
" No, not a bit. But they put me on the walk-
ing squad, and this afternoon I happened to fall
in behind your cross-country bunch. I didn't
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 95
have much trouble keeping up, and I'd like to try
going along with you some time/'
" It's all right so far as I am concerned," an-
swered Kid, noting with approval the length of
the candidate's legs and his probable chest ex-
pansion. "But you'll have to get permission
from Doc Rogers, you know."
As soon as he had taken a cold bath and a dive
into the pool, Oscar called at Dr. Rogers's office
in a small room near the entrance to the Gym-
" So it's you again, Harris? What's the trou-
ble now? " The " Doc " had begun to wonder
why this boy had such an abnormal interest in
all forms of physical development.
" Sir, I should like to go out for the cross-
country team. The walking squad is over for the
term, and I am sure that I can keep up with the
" Let me look you over a bit," replied the phy-
sician, who really had a kindly interest in Oscar's
case. He hunted out the boy's yellow record
blank, glanced at the date, and then examined
his heart and lungs with the stethoscope. His
next step was to bring out a tape measure and jot
down some of the new measurements of his chest
96 THE ANDOVER WAY
and arms. " Well, Harris/' he said, after a study
of the comparative figures, "you have unques-
tionably made a marvellous improvement, —
greater than I ever believed to be possible. You
are actually a different lad from what you were
six weeks ago. If you have your heart set on
running, there's no reason why you shouldn't go
out with Kid Wing and his squad. But you don't
want to start in too strenuously. It's just as dan-
gerous to overdo as it is to loaf. Remember
" I'll try to keep that in mind, sir." And Oscar
rushed down the steps of the Gymnasium, the
happiest man on the Hill. He ran into Bull's
room, threw his " prep " cap into the air, and
shouted, " Hooray, Bull, I'm on the cross-country
squad. It's come at last."
" I don't see that that's anything to make such
a big noise about," replied Bull calmly. " I sup-
pose you're glad, and all that, but I don't see ex-
actly why. It's going to be a lot of hard plugging,
without much reward. Those fellows have to
work, you know."
"That's just what Tm after. Bull, my boy,"
exclaimed Oscar, in a mood which would have
astonished his mother. " I want hard work, rav-
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 97
aging, gruelling, exhausting toil! It's wonder-
"All right! All right! " muttered Bull, who
regarded such exuberance with cynicism. " Only
don't blame me when they have to carry you in
from Martin's Pond."
" They won't have a chance, Bull. I can keep
up with them. I did to-day." And then he told
Bull with some pride about his afternoon's ad-
On the next afternoon when the squad was
ready to start, Oscar reported to Kid Wing, who
simply said, " Good, I'm glad you're here. Now
you must see how long you can stand the pace.
jf^ust follow the crowd, but fall out if the distance
seems too long for you. You're only beginning,
you know, and it won't do to get tuckered out the
first day. It's no disgrace to walk in."
Oscar discreetly made no reply, but he inwardly
resolved that he would run until he dropped. As
the squad started out, with Larry Spear, the as-
sistant track coach at the head, Oscar fell into
line, clad only in a sweater and running trunks,
although the air was crisp and cold. In long, even
strides they took a route out Salem Street, then
over a fence and a stone wall into a woodland
98 THE ANDOVER WAY
path. Soon Oscar could feel himself breathing
hard, but his legs continued to move rhythmically
with the others. There came a fearful moment
when it seemed as if he could go no farther; but
he summoned up his will-power and kept on, un-
til there came to him, as if by some magic gift,
that mysterious power called " second wind," and
his courage revived. As they swung into a hard
road again, he drew nearer to the front, noticing
with some satisfaction that two or three of the
men who had led at first were now fatigued. Soon
the Memorial Tower came in sight, and Larry
Spear accelerated the pace, making a sprint for
home. Oscar followed him and Kid Wing, pass-
ing several others as he ran, and, when they ar-
rived at the Gymnasium porch, there were only
three ahead of him, — Larry, Kid Wing, and Bar-
ney Wright, one of the mile-runners on the track
As he reached the steps, Larry and Kid turned
to see who were next among the survivors.
" Great Scott! " puffed Larry, as he saw Oscar's
face. "Here's a new man. Who are you, any-
" I'm Harris, — just joined the squad."
" Well, that was a pretty hot pace for a green-
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 99
horn. I guess you've got the stuff in you, all
right. Come and talk with me some time about
" Thank you, sir, I will," replied Oscar, be-
tween deep breaths.
"Aren't you tired? " inquired Kid Wing.
"Not yet," answered Oscar. "I could go a
little longer, I think."
" Well have to investigate you a little, Harris,"
went on Kid. "Can't you drop around to my
room in Phillips to-night for a talk? ^I'd like to
pry a little into your past."
" Sure, I'll come," replied Oscar, too happy to
say more. As he shivered under the piercing nee-
dles of the icy shower a few minutes later, he
wanted to burst into song. He was positive now
that he could run. With the assurance that
comes ultimately to every genuine athlete, he
knew that he could be successful on the track,
always assuming that he could develop his
physique and secure the proper training. He rev-
elled in the wholesome joy which is likely to ani-
mate any man who sees his cherished dreams
about to be realized.
Kid Wing lived, as he said, in Phillips Hall,
one of the oldest structures on the Hill, dating
100 THE ANDOVER WAY
back to the opening of the nineteenth century.
In this dormitory and its companion building,
Bartlet Hall, most of the leaders of the school
had their quarters. On its grassy terrace, the
seniors exercised their treasured privilege of out-
door smoking, and here, in the springtime, could
be found those little groups of talkative idlers
which, in any school, undertake to settle all the
urgent problems of local and national affairs.
Phillips Hall was, in a sense, a rallying point for
the older undergraduates, and here most of the
schemes for student government were hatched.
Our old friend, Hal Manning, Managing Editor
of the Phillipian, had a room directly across from
Kid Wing's, on the third floor. They were cen-
trally located, for the Auditorium was only a few
feet away, and the Main Building was just be-
yond that. For economy of effort and time, a
room in Phillips or Bartlet Halls was highly de-
sirable. " Some day," Kid used to say to Hal
Manning, " they'll run tunnels from Phillips over
to George Washington Hall and the Main Build-
ing, and we won't have to go out into the air
except to eat. Then life here will be worth
" When that happens," commented Hal, " this
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 101
place will be a home for aged men, and I don't
want anything to do with it."
In Kid's room that evening Oscar gazed not
without envy at the long array of silver cups on
" I'd give my front teeth to be able to win races
the way you do! " he said, when he had taken a
comfortable seat overlooking the main campus,
and the lights of the houses in the distance.
" It's mostly a matter of practice, Harris. You
have a fairly good build, and, so far as I can see,
you're honestly ambitious. What youVe got to
do now is to ask Larry Spear, the coach, to tell
you how to run so that you can utilize every ounce
of strength. That's the only way of developing
into a distance runner."
" Had you done any racing before you came
"Had I? I hadn't done anything else! I
come, you see, from a little village out in central
New York, — ^Waterville, they call it, — and I used
to live near a park. Every afternoon as soon as
school closed some of us kids would have races
around the outside of that park. I'll bet I've run
around it ten thousand times. I can remember
plugging and plugging until it seemed as if my
102 THE ANDOVER WAY
lungs would cave in, but somehow I learned to
run. Luckily I had a stride that was naturally
fairly good, and I didn't pick up any very bad
" I suppose you were on the school track team
in your village," said Oscar, with a query in his
" Yes, I must have been," answered Kid remi-
niscently. " Should you like to hear about my
first race on a real track? "
" I certainly should," replied Oscar eagerly.
" I didn't win, you know, — ^far from it! "
" How was that? "
"Well, here goes for the yarn! " began Kid,
encouraged by the receptiveness of his audience.
" You see, Waterville is a small village rather off
the main line, and there had never been a track
meet there. But I was in high school with a group
of enterprising rascals who were always trying to
start something new. One of us went to a college
track meet and came back to tell the rest about
it; so we wrote immediately to some schools in
towns near by, — Clinton and Clayville, — and per-
suaded them to agree to join us. We had in
Waterville an abandoned half-mile dirt track, —
a survival of the days when trotting races were
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 103
popular, — and it was the logical place for the
"A lot of the nervy youngsters, — VLeaky'
Terry, Harry Yale, Charlie Coggeshall, and
' Stew ' Mayer, — ^went around among the local
merchants asking them to donate prizes, with the
result that we accumulated quite a collection of
lamps and knives and other such articles. When
our committee met, we agreed that each one of
us should have the privilege of choosing the prize
for the event in which he was going to take part,
— and which, of course, he thought he was going
to win. Now I was out for the 220-yard dash,
and, seeing a beautiful collapsible umbrella among
our gifts, I selected that as the prize for my event.
And so it was put up in one of the store windows
with a big sign on it, ' First Prize, 220-yard dash.*
I used to stop to look at it every morning on my
way to school and could hardly wait till it would
be mine. You see, it never entered my head that
I could possibly lose.
" Well, the day of the big meet came, and the
fellows from Clinton and Clayville arrived in
Waterville, all in barges, waving pennants and
tooting horns. There was a tremendous crowd at
the race-track, for most of the townspeople were
104 THE ANDOVER WAY
there and we took in a lot of money at the gate.
When I came out for the 220, I saw a lanky boy
with ' Clinton ' in red letters across his shirt, and
he looked as if he could go like greased lightning.
After one glance, I knew I should lose the um-
brella if I didn't take precautions.
" The starter, Ernie Camp, was one of my clos-
est pals, and I called him aside to talk the situa-
tion over. Finally we agreed on a plan which, as
I see it now, was absolutely shameless; but you
see we hadn't arrived at any moral sense in such
matters as races. Our theory was, ' Anything to
win! ' According to the scheme the seven or
eight of us who were in the 220 lined up, — and
just as soon as we had knelt down for the start,
off I went down the track. Of course the others
thought that I would be called back; but, when
I had gone at least ten yards, Ernie Camp, as he
had promised, shot off the revolver. The Clinton
fellow and the others must have been a bit
amazed, but nevertheless they started off, with
me at least fifteen yards ahead. I was feeling
fine, legging it along as tight as I could go, and I
could see the spectators in the stands waving
handkerchiefs and banners. The umbrella was
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 105
" And then, about fifty yards from the finish,
I noticed somebody at my side, and there was
that long-legged Clinton fellow going by me al-
most without any effort. I tried to sprint, but I
was all in. Pretty soon another one went by, and,
before I reached the tape, they had all beaten me,
and I came in last. I didn't hear the end of that
affair for weeks! Every time it rained somebody
would want to borrow my collapsible imibrella.
When I look back on it now, I realize that it was
a disgraceful trick, but it was all so funny and the
result was so peculiar that I can't help laughing.
Our ethical standards weren't very noble, I
guess! But that race did do one thing, — it taught
me that 1 could never expect to be a sprinter, and
ever since I've concentrated on the longer dis-
" Do you think I can ever win my letter, Kid? "
asked Oscar, with a wistful note in his voice.
" You see, I've had no experience at all. I'm just
the opposite of you; I don't believe I ever ran a
mile in my life before I came here."
"That's queer, too," was Kid's answer, "for
the great gods built you to be a runner, Oscar.
Here you are with long legs, a broad chest, and
a slender waist, — what more do you want? And
106 THE ANDOVER WAY
you have some pluck or you wouldn't have tried
to keep up with the cross-country squad. All you
need now is training and experience. I don't
want to raise any false hopes, but you have a
mighty good chance of wearing an 'A' on your
jersey next spring."
This was sufficient encouragement for Oscar,
who left Kid's room as proud as if he had just
been named as ambassador to England. He knew
that he had persistence enough to keep going; it
was now mainly a question of how much physical
endowment he could rely on. Happily he was
beginning to reap the reward of his hard and
regular bodily exercise. During the last few days
of the term, while the final examinations were
being held, all competitive sports were discon-
tinued, and the athletes had a well-earned rest, —
especially the track men, who were entirely will-
ing to have a few unoccupied afternoons. But
Oscar did not relax for a single afternoon. With
a steadiness and vigor which astonished those who
saw what he was doing, he spent his vacant pe-
riods in exercise. When several inches of snow
covered the ground, making the roads too heavy
for travel, he had recourse to the indoor track.
He still, moreover, kept up his efforts to enlarge
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 107
his muscles, using dumbbells and parallel bars to
good effect. By the close of the term he had
added ten pounds to his weight and two inches to
his chest expansion; and he bounded out of bed
each morning feeling like a prince, as if the world
had been created anew for his delight. It is a
On the last evening of the fall term, when all
his examinations but one had been taken, Oscar,
after an intimate chat with Kid Wing, came back
to Wendell Hall about nine o'clock. It was a
glorious night. Strolling slowly across the campus
from Phillips Hall, Oscar glimpsed through the
bare branches of the ghostly elms the twinkling
lights from a hundred windows. The light snow
had obliterated the harsher features of the land-
scape, and the full moon, throwing a soft glow
over hedges and brick walls, made it appear uni-
formly beautiful. The slender shaft of the Me-
morial Tower stood out against the stars, the top
looking incredibly graceful. For a moment Oscar
lingered, marvelling at the magic of the spec-
tacle, which to him was finer than any he could
recall in Florence or Granada. In that mood he
felt a kind of inspiration. To him, as to the
young Wordsworth :
108 THE ANDOVER WAY
''The whole earth
The beauty wore of promise ; that which sets
The budding rose above the rose full blown/'
In this spirit of exaltation, Oscar reached Wen-
dell Hall, mounted the stairs to his room, and
fumbled for his key, only to find that the door-
knob was covered with some sticky and obnoxious
substance, — probably molasses. As he swore
softly under his breath, — Oscar was not above a
mild brand of profanity, — he heard muffled noises
from a dark corner and realized that his ancient
enemies, the smaller boys, were hidden there,
laughing at his discomfiture.
This time, however, there was no hesitation.
With a rush, he darted into the shadows, seized
two of the culprits, — one of whom proved to be
the irrepressible Carl Woodward, — and, dragging
them out under the center light, proceeded to
knock their heads together. Two others at once
attacked him from some other place of conceal-
ment, but Oscar stood upright and fought them
all off, finally hurling them from him with no
uncertain vigor. " Help ! Help ! " cried Carl,
writhing in pain as Oscar twisted his arm. Boys
emerged one by one from rooms near by; others
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 109
rushed up-stairs from the corridor below, until
nearly everybody in the dormitory had assembled
to watch the fun; and the crowd lustily goaded
on the combatants. " Go to it, Oscar! " shouted
Bull Taylor, who was overjoyed to see his friend
holding his own against such adverse odds. " Put
the young shrimps out of business for good.
Now's the time to do it! ''
Vainly the two smaller lads, who were more
amazed than anybody at Oscar's sudden transfor-
mation, tried to escape. He held them in an iron
grip until they begged whiningly for mercy. And
then, just at this critical point in the proceedings,
up came "Weary" Randall, clad in a dressing-
gown and in no placid mood. The uproar had
been ' tremendous, and he was quite prepared to
burst in upon the assembly like an avenging deity.
But, when he saw the spectacle before him, his
anger cooled and he could not help smiling. Os-
car, his glasses over one ear and his hair looking
like a deserted bird's nest, was posed in the mid-
dle of the circle in the attitude of the Colossus
of Rhodes, with a small boy held tightly by the
scruff of the neck in each hand, both shrieking
madly, " I give in, Oscar! I give in! Let me go!
I won't bother you any more, Oscar! " Beyond
110 THE ANDOVER WAY
any doubt, Oscar was complete master of the sit-
Mr. Randall was so deeply absorbed in the com-
bat that he did not observe what a sensation his
appearance was making. One by one shadowy
figures were sneaking away, until only Oscar and
his assailants remained, — Oscar, who was so much
excited that he was completely oblivious to every-
thing around him, and the small lads, who could
not possibly retreat. At last Oscar's eyes fell on
Mr. Randall, and he slowly relaxed his clutch.
The youngsters shook themselves, and Oscar awk-
wardly tried to smooth his hair and adjust his
collar. Then he saw the smile on Mr. Randall's
countenance, and the semblance of a grin ap-
peared on his own face.
" Well, Harris, you're getting to be a genuine
bruiser, aren't you? " said Mr. Randall, in a tone
which began by being severe but ended in a kindly
manner. "And you're here, too. Woodward! Just
as it was earlier in the fall. What's the matter
with you, Carl? Are you trying to pick a fight
with Harris the way you did in September? "
" No, I guess not, sir," responded Carl, who was
evidently much chagrined at his position. " May
I go down and change my clothes, sir? "
DISCOVERS HIS MUSCLES 111
"You'd better ask Oscar, Carl/' was the in-
structor's answer. " He seems to be in command
Carl looked at Mr. Randall to find out whether
the latter was in earnest, but he could discern no
signs of relenting. Finally, in a rather forced and
feeble voice, he turned to Oscar, saying, *' May I
go now, Oscar? '' The situation was so ridiculous
that Mr. Randall had to turn his face away.
" Yes, go," replied Oscar, disposed to be lenient.
" But don't let this kind of thing occur again.
Oh, yes, — I almost forgot, — suppose you and Pete
clean off my door-knob."
" Can't we wait a few minutes until we get
fixed up? " inquired Pete.
" ' Now,' I said ! ' Now ' ! " And the two boys
almost ran for water and soap.
When they had completed this cleansing job
to Oscar's satisfaction, the house master dismissed
them with a reprimand, and then addressed Oscar.
" Well, Harris, you've won your own victory, and
I'm glad of it. Now you must remember not to
overdo the thing. You've shown these little
chaps that they can't make a fool of you. It's
your business now to keep from becoming a bully.
Furthermore, I'm not going to allow Wendell Hall
112 THE ANDOVER WAY
to become the stage for any more such rough-
houses. IVe helped you a little; now you pitch
in and help me. Will you do that? '*
"I certainly will, sir," answered Oscar, with
vigor. And Mr. Randall knew that the boy meant
what he said.
THE HERO LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE
Like most of the new men at Andover, Oscar
was completely ignorant of the secret societies
there, and not for some weeks was he aware of the
significant part which they played in the life of
the academy. Before she went away, his mother
had handed him a jewelled pin, upon which were
the mysterious letters '' K. P. N.," and explained
that she had found this among Mr. Harris's pos-
sessions after his death.
" I don't know what these letters mean," she
continued, " but it was your father's when he was
a boy at Andover, and you ought to have it. I
remember that he was very careful of it, and that
he once told me that it indicated membership in
some sort of club. You had better put it away in
your jewel case. It may come in handy later."
It was rather extraordinary that Oscar, at this
particular stage of his career, did not create a
sensation by wearing this ornament conspicuously
on his coat lapel, but he fortunately had enough
114 THE ANDOVER WAY
sense to lock it up and forget about it. The aver-
age " prep " is unlikely to hear much society gos-
sip; and Oscar, during his early weeks at school,
kept very much to himself. He did discover that
some gloomy and impressive-looking structures,
into which no one could ever be seen entering,
were society houses, but his curiosity did not lead
him to make further inquiries. Once he walked
past the K. P. N. house, — an imposing brick build-
ing, sealed up like a tomb, with a porch supported
by tall white pillars, — and speculated idly as to
what it must be like inside. But there were other
matters which, by that time, seemed to him to
have far greater importance, — how he was to in-
crease his chest expansion, for instance, and how
he could win an "A'' on the track.
When a " freak ^' like Oscar is admitted to
Andover, the news spreads like village gossip, and
there are always some boisterous blades who are
ready to take advantage of such tempting inno-
cence. Thus it was that on an evening in late
November, two of the school humorists, " Dusty "
Sandford and " Matt " White, dressed in the most
formal attire, — which means that each, in addi-
tion to the necessary covering garments, wore a
stiff linen collar and carried a stick, — knocked at
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 115
Oscar's door. When they had been invited to en-
ter, they stepped in with ostentatious ceremony,
and Oscar, who was still very green, urged them
to be seated. As a host, Oscar was quite in his
element, and, when the initial embarrassment had
disappeared, he made his visitors feel very much
at home, even proposing to brew them some tea.
At last, when the conversation languished for a
moment. Dusty opened the way to real business.
" Harris," he began solemnly, " you have doubt-
less been wondering why we are here. My name
is Sandford, and this gentleman with me is Mr.
White,— Mr. Matthew W. White, a member of the
Society of Mayflower Descendants. We happen
to be representatives of one of the secret organi-
zations here in Andover, — Sigma Eta Mu, — prob-
ably the oldest fraternal group in any school in
this country. • We take in, as you may readily be-
lieve, only men who have had some experience
in the world. To put it bluntly, Harris, we rather
pride ourselves on our exclusiveness. We never,
for instance, should dream of taking a man simply
because he is an athlete or a team manager. Our
members must have blue blood in their veins and
know how to conduct themselves anywhere among
the best people."
116 THE ANDOVER WAY
" That sounds interesting," commented Oscar,
a little flattered and yet somewhat suspicious.
Dusty was a very persuasive talker.
" We have looked up your ancestry somewhat,
and we have been studying your manners and
dress as you appear on the campus. We are con-
vinced that we should be making no mistake in
asking you to join our select group; and there-
fore we have the honor of extending to you a
formal invitation to become a member of Sigma
" Thank you very much, Mr. Sandford. I ap-
preciate your courtesy. Must I give you my de-
cision right away? "
"Decision!" ejaculated Dusty, producing an
excellent imitation of a kind-hearted friend very
much insulted. " No Andover man has ever de-
clined an invitation to our organization! It is
inconceivable that you should refuse such a dis-
tinction! Don't you realize that there can be,
under our constitution, only thirteen members a
year from the student body! Why, there are fa-
thers who would give thousands of dollars to have
their sons make Sigma Eta Mu! " Dusty pro-
nounced the mystic words in a loud whisper which
had a very weird effect.
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 117
So horrified did the two callers look at the mere
suggestion of a possible refusal that Oscar was
disinclined to argument and gave his assent with-
out any further delay. Sandford then asked him
to write his check for fifty dollars, as an initiation
fee, — the story of his generosity to the Society of
Inquiry had spread over the campus, — and, when
Oscar opened his mouth to protest, he was con-
fronted by stern glances from Dusty and Matt.
The latter, who had hitherto said nothing, now
began : " You will receive in return for this lucre
a jewelled pin after the initiation has been com-
pleted. We do not approve of delays in matters
of this kind. Therefore on to-morrow evening at
seven o'clock, after consuming only a glass of milk
for dinner, you will take your position in a stand-
ing posture against the burial vault in Spring
Grove Cemetery, facing towards the setting sun.
There you will be examined by the Great Mogul,
who will give you further instructions. A suit-
able costume will be brought you at noon to-
morrow. Farewell, victim, farewell! And speak
to no one regarding this, under penalty of dire
After the two ringleaders had made impressive
bows and departed, Oscar sat a long time in deep
118 THE ANDOVER WAY
thought. He was, it must be remembered, wholly
uninformed regarding fraternities. He wanted to
consult Bull Taylor, but Matt's final warning kept
ringing in his ears. There were moments when
he was so suspicious that he resolved not to pro-
ceed farther; but then there came to him the
painful doubt that he might be foolishly rejecting
a significant honor. In the end he resolved to go
through with the initiation, no matter what re-
sulted. At the worst, it could be nothing more
than a fairly expensive joke.
At half-past six that evening, Oscar sneaked
softly out of his room, little aware that virtually
every eye in the dormitory was upon him as, in
the gathering twilight, he made his way across
the fields and into the woods, at a point where a
well-worn path led to the cemetery and Pomp's
Pond. He was indeed garbed in a strange man-
ner: on his head a brown derby hat, at least two
sizes larger than was necessary ; on his back an old
black cutaway coat, which had been resurrected
from some attic in town ; and his thin legs adorned
with linen knickerbockers, so that he resembled
a gentleman of the old colonial school out for a
walk. But Oscar did not walk! Obeying de-
tailed instructions, he assumed a dog-trot at once.
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 119
and jogged along, grasping the unmanageable
derby in one hand to keep it from falling over his
eyes, — altogether the queerest shape that had ever
passed along that route. At last, his heart thump-
ing with excitement, he reached the designated
spot and took up his position facing the glowing
globe of flame in the western sky.
Night fell gradually over the countryside. In
the distance Oscar could hear the bells from the
Memorial Tower faintly chiming the quarter-
hour, their notes sounding like a mournful tinkle
in the quiet air. The tombstones around him
accentuated the gloom in his heart, and he felt
more and more nervous. He had almost no super-
stitions; yet none of us is fond of graveyards,
and nobody is likely to choose one as a site for a
summer cottage. Slowly the shadows deepened.
The monotonous song of the tree-toads became a
low humming, and an owl hooted in the branches
of an oak near by. Oscar started at a sudden
noise, only to discover that it was simply the light
wind moving among the dead leaves over his head.
And then, when it seemed as if he had been
waiting for an eternity, and his legs were com-
mencing to feel prickly, a tall figure in white tow-
ered above him as if it had risen out of a grave, — •
120 THE ANDOVER WAY
silent, motionless, dreadful ! From which direction
it had arrived, Oscar could not tell; but there it
was, with one long arm stretched towards the
heavens. A chill struck at Oscar's heart. He was
as brave as anybody, but the long, anxious period
of suspense and the chilly night air had worn on
his nerves. His knees trembling and his teeth
chattering, he listened to hear what might be
said. But the ghostly form stood speechless! It
merely turned, lowered its arm slightly, and
pointed; then it gestured slowly, like the spirit of
Hamlet's father, indicating that Oscar should fol-
low. As it moved off majestically through the
shadows, he was conscious of other spectral shapes
around him, and could occasionally catch a glint
of white through the trees. It was all very alarm-
ing, especially to one who, like Oscar, had just
been reading Hamlet in his English class and
could quote verbatim:
**I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like stars start from their
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair stand up on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine."
Oscar, feeling his way gingerly through the
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 121
darkness in the wake of his taciturn guide, moved
slowly along until he reached what he recognized as
the highway on the western side of the cemetery.
Here the sheeted figure motioned him peremp-
torily to halt, and two by no means gentle hands
tied a bandage over his eyes, — so tightly that,
even if it had been broad daylight, he could have
seen nothing. Then he was hurried along, through
bushes and briars and over stone walls, for what
seemed to him miles and miles. Would they never
let him rest? At last, after a steep descent, they
paused, and an ominous silence fell, while Oscar
wondered where he was.
" Victim," said a strident voice, " you are now
poised on the edge of a precipice overhanging the
lake, which lies fifty feet below. You are to jump
and then swim for shore, — if by chance you es-
cape being mangled on tnle rocks at the base of
the cliff. This is the supreme test of your cour-
age and vitality. If you emerge alive, even though
badly hurt, you will be deemed worthy of becom-
ing a member of the ancient order of Sigma Eta
Under cover of the darkness, Oscar smiled to
himself. There were limits even to his credulity,
and this kind of stuff seemed childish to him. He
122 THE ANDOVER WAY
thought the situation out deliberately, resolved
that he would make no such leap as was proposed,
and came to a decision as to what he should do.
" Now, unhappy victim," announced the leader,
addressing him, " when I count three, spring with
all your strength so that you may avoid the jagged
stones on the shore below and will reach the deep
water in safety. Are you ready? One! Two!
As the last word rang out, Oscar bent his knees
and jumped, — not forward, however, but back-
wards, in accordance with his resolution. But the
consequences of this unexpected action were de-
cidedly dramatic. He had really been standing on
the bank of the Shawsheen River, facing away
from the stream, and his tormentors, while hoping
to duck him later beneath its chilling waters, had
supposed that he would now give a prodigious
leap and fall to the earth, like the blind Gloster
in Shakespeare's King Lear, Instead, Oscar,
thinking to be shrewd, had done exactly the wrong
thing. He had thrown himself backwards into the
river, at a point where it was well over his head.
For a few seconds the crowd stood as if paralyzed.
Then Oscar reappeared, cried desperately, " Help!
Help! " and sank again.
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 123
Now at last everybody was aroused. Sheets
were discarded, gallant rescuers leaped wildly into
the stream, and there were frenzied shouts of
'' Here he is! " " No, he's gone down again! " and
'' Dive for him, Matt/' The water seemed to be
alive with wriggling, twisting human beings. At
last one of them emerged on the bank, his hands
tenaciously twined in Oscar's hair. The half-
unconscious boy was dragged higher up, and there
ensued some furious efforts at resuscitation, which
were broken off by groans from the ^initiate.
" Leave me alone, will you! I'm all right! Let
me up, you fools! I can swim, but of course I
couldn't get out when you kept knocking me un-
der trying to save my life." Oscar gradually rid
himself of the liquid which he had involuntarily
swallowed, and finally stood up, looking very
damp and dismal, but still alive.
" Why did you jump that way, you poor fish? "
indignantly inquired one of the committee.
" You've ruined the show ! "
"What do you mean, — fish?" asked Oscar, in
no mild humor, having never heard this expres-
sive slang phrase. " I didn't choose to go into the
water, did I? "
" Well, you leaped into it, didn't you? "
124 THE ANDOVER WAY
" Yes, but I only did it to fool you," was Oscar's
" And you came mighty near having a watery
grave, young man. And the school would have
had to bury you and put flowers on your coflBin,
and you aren't worth it."
"What'll I do now?" inquired Oscar, a little
wearily. " Have I got to climb another cliff? "
" Don't be sarcastic, victim. You'd better run
back to your dormitory. This performance is
" But I don't know the road," pleaded Oscar.
It was a sensible remark, for the night was now
so black that not a landmark could be picked out
in any direction. It was absolutely impossible to
discern any path.
"You just trail after me," spoke up a voice
which Oscar recognized as Hal Manning's. " I'll
show you, if you will try to keep up."
Off they went, dripping water at every step. It
was a miserable parade, for it was chilly in the
night air and no one felt like breaking into song.
After stumbling twenty times over fallen logs
and scratching his legs and face on briars, Oscar
reached Wendell Hall. He had been cautioned
to enter quietly, in the hope that Mr. Randall
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 125
had not made his customary round of the rooms.
Luckily for Oscar, the master had been out to
dinner, and Oscar was able to reach his study
without being detected. There he quickly dis-
robed, took a steaming bath, and went to bed,
only to be haunted by spectral shapes and sepul-
On the following morning, after the church serv-
ice was over, Oscar was glancing through the in-
terminable pages of the Sunday paper when there
were three heavy knocks on his door, and in
tramped Dusty and Matt, accompanied by Hal
Manning. They stood in silence before him for
several minutes. Then Dusty, having made the
desired impression, stepped forward and said, —
" Harris, you have not been obedient to the com-
mands of the Grand Mogul. You have brought
ridicule on our sacred ritual and displayed an
unseemly spirit of levity. Nevertheless it has
been decided by the Supreme Council in solemn
conclave assembled that you must be created a
regular member of Sigma Eta Mu. I therefore
take pleasure in decorating you, in the presence
of these witnesses, with the insignia of our frater-
nity." Saying these words, he pinned on the lapel
of Oscar's coat a tin emblem, representing a
126 THE ANDOVER WAY
donkey's head, and then stepped off to study the
" And now, Brother Big Fatima," he continued,
turning to Hal, whose face was suspiciously crim-
son, " will you whisper in the ear of the novice
the motto of our order? '^
Manning bowed low, saluted, and said,
"Brother Little Fatima, I obey." Then, ap-
proaching Oscar, he said in a low but perfectly
audible tone, " Brother Lucky Strike, our motto,
never to be spoken above a whisper, is Sigma Eta
Mu, — Snatch Easy Money! ''
With this disclosure. Manning and his com-
panions bent low in mock reverence and with-
drew from the room, before Oscar had time to
regain his senses. He had, of course, realized for
some time that he had been the victim of a hoax,
and he was glad that the program was over.
The tale of the previous evening's adventures
was certain to leak out sooner or later, and ulti-
mately it reached the ears of the Head. It is
amazing how rapidly under some conditions gos-
sip of this kind travels in a school community.
That gentleman was sorely tempted to place the
matter in the hands of the Student Council ; but,
when he heard all the details, he was convinced
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 127
that the conspirators had been sufficiently pun-
ished by their wetting, and he contented himself
with sending word that Oscar's fifty dollars must
be refunded. Oscar himself was reticent regard-
ing the episode, but he counted it as another phase
of his education. He resolved then and there
never again to accept without question what was
told to him by a stranger. And there was a fur-
ther incidental consequence which, in after years,
Oscar was inclined to look back upon as one of
the significant events of his life.
Oscar had found none of his classes dull, but
that which he had enjoyed most was the one con-
ducted by Professor Foster, — affectionately known
to the boys as "Charlie," — in Virgil's ^neid.
He was a man of wide experience and broad cul-
ture, who brought to bear upon his subject the
scholarship of a lifetime of reading and travel.
He had a keen wit and a robust humor, — quali-
ties which were lavishly displayed in his class-
room. He loved to jest about his portliness, and
often referred to his "rotund personality" and
the fact that he was a " well-rounded " man. It
was said of him by the alumni that his course in
Senior ^Latin was a liberal education. Irreproach-
able in dress and manners, he treated his students
128 THE ANDOVER WAY
as if they were his equals as gentlemen, and, by
so doing, drew from them their very best efforts.
For him Oscar had an admiration not far from
idolatry, but, in characteristic Andover fashion,
the boy repressed his feelings, merely sitting at-
tentive through the recitations. He had no idea
that Professor Foster knew him at all outside the
Pearson Hall classroom until one day that teacher,
calling him to the desk after the hour, invited him
to dinner on the following evening. Oscar, made
a little timid by his earlier experiences, accepted
rather shyly, not without a suspicion that this too
might turn out to be a joke.
When he first came to Andover, Oscar would
have entered Professor Foster's home with the air
of a man of the world, familiar with all the correct
usages of society; now, however, he was a little
less sure of himself, and he seemed for the first
few moments to be diffident and even awkward.
But he found Mrs. Foster so gracious and Pro-
fessor Foster so entertaining that he could not
help regaining his old confidence; and it was not
long before he was chatting in an easy way about
paintings which he had seen in the Paris galleries
and even describing the serrated crags of Mont-
serrat. The Fosters had travelled everywhere and
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 129
seen everything, and they paid Oscar the flattering
compliment of assuming that he was one with
them in their appreciation of works of art. Their
house, which was some little distance from the
academy buildings, was furnished with exquisite
things, many of them bought in Europe, and Os-
car found pleasure in picking out some which had
for him an especial appeal. For a time, indeed,
he forgot completely his athletic aspirations; in-
deed he could almost believe that he was no
longer a schoolboy, but just a friend among
After a dinner which made Oscar feel as if he
had returned to Paris and its delicacies. Professor
Foster took Oscar into his library, a room lined
with bookshelves almost to the ceiling, offered him
a cigarette, — which the potential mile-runner re-
gretfully declined, — and motioned him to a great
leather-covered chair, into which he sank until he
felt as if he were disappearing from view. Then,
lighting a cigar and inhaling the fragrant aroma,
the teacher said, " Well, my boy, youVe been hav-
ing some rather painful experiences, haven't
" Oh, nothing to speak of, sir," answered Oscar.
"It's good for me, I guess, to learn what the
130 THE ANDOVER WAY
world is like. I had led what people call a ' shel-
tered existence' until I came here. Sooner or
later I should have had to confront the real thing,
and I'm rather glad that I've had some of the
conceit and ignorance knocked out of me. But
I didn't dream that anybody on the faculty had
heard of my troubles."
" There's very little that escapes our Argus-
eyed teachers. Often we can't say anything about
what we see or hear, but we know a great deal
more than you fellows imagine. I've been told all
about your initiation, for instance, and the duck-
ing you gave the others. That couldn't have been
such bad fun."
" Yes, it was rather a joke on them, now that I
think about it. But I hope that the faculty won't
want to punish those fellows, sir. They didn't
mean any harm, and the whole affair was good
for me. Why, one of them even came yesterday
and handed me back the check for fifty dollars
I had given him. That was a mighty white thing
The Professor listened thoughtfully to what
Oscar was saying. He wanted to be very careful
what he said in reply. Then he began, " No, you
don't need to worry about that. They'll escape
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 131
this time, even though they may be a bit appre-
hensive. But, in connection with that, I do want
to talk to you for just a moment. You've been
brought up to know a good deal about art and
architecture and music, and to love beautiful
things. Don't abandon all that just because a
crowd of average young Americans make fun of
you. The trouble with most schools in this coun-
try is that there is a tendency for the students
to develop in exactly the same way, to grow to be
alike in their tastes and habits and desires. I've
been watching you ever since you entered my
class, and there's fine stuff in you if only you
refuse to let yourself become standardized.
That's the curse of our time, — this eagerness to
turn out products like Ford cars, all alike, with
interchangeable parts. I want you to be a Cadil-
lac or a Pierce Arrow, different from the others
and better than they are. Of course you'll have
to conform in clothes and language to those with
whom you associate every day; but don't you let
your soul be turned into a mould. Keep your
" Professor Foster, youVe said just what IVe
thought a hundred times since I reached this
place. It's wonderful here. There are beautiful
132 THE ANDOVER WAY
buildings and able teachers and everything a fel-
low can ask for. The only fear I have is that I
may forget some of the things I used to know.
Just now I'm interested in developing my body
and becoming an athlete, and I'm going to be a
rimner if it can possibly be done. But that isn't
all there is to life. When I'm out here with Mrs.
Foster and you, I am sure that it is right to like
cathedrals and listen to grand opera. And then
I get back and, when I hear some of the fellows
in the * dorm ' talk contemptuously about * high-
brows,' I feel foolish."
" It's the same in all schools, Harris. As a mat-
ter of fact, things are better here at Andover than
in almost any other place I know. The trouble is
that we teachers have to plan courses for the aver-
age man, and the exceptional fellow has to shift
for himself. But you have too much character to
let yourself be smothered by mediocrity, I'm sure.
And you can become one of the boys, and win
prizes in running, without letting your real self
be cramped. Whenever you get despondent about
it all, come out to see me and we'll talk it over."
There was much other talk before this memo-
rable evening was over, but enough has been re-
produced to show its general trend. When Oscar
LEARNS BY EXPERIENCE 133
rose to say " Good-night! " he felt that he had
never spent a more wholesome or stimulating two
hours. As he walked back to Wendell Hall across
the fields, the world looked rosier than it had ap-
peared at any time since he had been left in
Andover. When he reached his room, he looked
for a moment at a huge photograph of Jack
Dempsey, the boxer, which had replaced an en-
graving of Toledo Cathedral between his win-
dows. Then, with an ejaculation of impatience,
he tore it down from the wall, hunted in his closet
for the discarded cathedral, and, when he had
found it, hung it up carefully in its original posi-
tion. " That's better," he said, with a sigh of re-
lief, " and it's a good deal more like me! "
Such is the influence which one personality can
exert unconsciously upon another. And " Char-
lie " Foster does not know to this day how much
comfort and inspiration he brought to one half-
discouraged Andover senior.
THE HERO BECOMES A GOOD SAMARITAN
With all his " queerness '' and gullibility, the
heir to the Harris fortunes was something of a
judge of men. He had wandered into so many
strange corners of continental cities and had met
so many varieties of Russians and Albanians and
Turks that he was not astonished at anything or
anybody. Furthermore, he was mature morally
as well as mentally. There was with him, for ex-
ample, no temptation to go through the process
colloquially known as " sowing wild oats." When
he saw occasionally at Andover representatives
of the so-called " sporting classes '' trying desper-
ately to " see life," he was neither alarmed nor
offended, because he was not unacquainted with
their experiments in vice. The students who sat
daringly on the fire-escape smoking cigarettes in
defiance of school regulations aroused in him noth-
ing but pity for their childishness. Once, when
some would-be " bad men " tried to lure him into
a game of bridge, thinking that he would prove
A GOOD SAMARITAN 135
profitable prey, he yielded and showed such mas-
tery of the game that they did not ask him again.
As it happened, bridge was a pastime which he
had learned from his mother and her friends, and,
although he did not care for gambling, he played
with quickness and skill.
Oscar's pride was vulnerable only in matters
with which he was unacquainted. He was like a
Bowery urchin on a farm, unable to milk the
cows or saddle the horses and easily deceived by
the dullest rustic. With the theatre, the ballet,
and the revue Oscar had been familiar ever since
he had put on long trousers, and he could derive
no thrill from going to a burlesque show or wan-
dering around the back alleys of Puritanical Bos-
ton. Had he not prowled alone through Mont-
martre at midnight and explored the mysteries of
the Quartier Latin?
In many respects, as Professor Foster had as-
certained, Oscar was much more civilized than
the seniors with whom he was associated, and they
often seemed to him like a tribe of barbarians.
They displayed little interest, so far as he could
discover, in good music, and the majority stub-
bornly resisted the patient attempts of Dr.
Schleiermacher, the Director of Music^ to teach
136 THE ANDOVER WAY
them to discriminate between the Fifth Sym-
phony and " Yes, we have no bananas! '^ Only a
few cared anything about painting or sculpture.
With literature, perhaps, it was a trifle different
because no one could be " exposed," so to speak,
to plays like Hamlet and lyrics like Tears, Idle
Tears, without getting some conception of what
great poetry is like; but the average boy had not
progressed in his literary tastes much beyond the
Saturday Evening Post, Oscar's delight in church
architecture and stained-glass windows and
Chopin preludes would have aroused the scorn
and laughter of his classmates if he had been so
innocent as to disclose it. What they liked best
was sport in all its forms, especially outdoor
games; their chosen mental recreation was the
" movies " ; and their stock diversion in their idle
hours was the so-called humorous paper, repre-
sented by Judge and College Comics. Oscar, with
the sensitiveness and canniness of youth, per-
ceived the desirability of concealing his own ar-
tistic tastes, and mastered the secret of appear-
ing to be something he was not. He did not, it
is true, adopt the banal avocations of some of his
companions; but, from all outward signs, he was
by Christmas in dress and bearing a normal,
A GOOD SAMARITAN 137
healthy American boy, with a horror of being
considered " different."
Bull Taylor, — although he would have been
amazed to hear it, — was for Oscar a source of in-
spiration. Day after day, with his slow-moving
mind, he kept driving at matters which had for
him hardly any intrinsic interest, simply because
he was in pursuit of that indefinable thing called
an education. As the two became better ac-
quainted, Oscar saw that he could readily help
Bull, and he formed the habit of dropping into his
room in the evening and hearing him in his
Geometry and Latin. Bull was left tackle on the
football team, and it was important for the eleven
that he keep off the " no-excuse list." Although
very few heard anything about it, it was only
Oscar's persistent coaching that maintained Bull's
ehgibility for the Andover-Exeter game, — in
which, it may be added, he performed prodigious
feats of skill, especially in breaking holes through
which Steve Fisher and the other backs could
make long gains. During the celebration of the
great victory, everybody, including the Head him-
self, praised Bull for his brilliant showing; but
Bull did not fail to remember that he could never
have played on that team if it had not been for
138 THE ANDOVER WAY
the almost continuous prodding which Oscar had
administered to his pupil's sluggish mentality.
" Say, Oscar, how am I going to thank you? "
he asked in an embarrassed way, on the Sunday
morning after the contest, as the two sat sur-
rounded by newspapers describing the game.
" Here youVe done most of the hard labor, and
I get all the credit. Ill swear that it's a tougher
job making me pass * Charlie ' Foster's Virgil than
it is to run for a touchdown through a broken
field. Look at this headline, — ' Fisher and Tay-
lor Destroy Exeter's Defense.' Somebody
ought to produce the truth, ' Harris Drags Tay-
lor Through Geometry.' That would be really
" Oh, cut it out ! " answered Oscar, who had by
this date acquired some slang which would have
alarmed his precise mother. " Going over the
stuff with you helped me, too. I had to do it
myself, anyhow, didn't I? You aren't a bone-
head, anyway. It's just that books come hard to
you, that's all."
" You're the real thing in friends, and I'm for
you, whatever you do. I only hope that I get a
chance some day to do you a favor."
" You will, Bull. Forty years from now, when
A GOOD SAMARITAN 189
you're a member of Morgan and Company and
are putting through a billion dollar airplane mer-
ger, I'll drop in on you and borrow carfare."
" If that time ever comes, you'll get whatever
you want, — that is, if I have it. I'll guarantee
In making plans for his Christmas vacation,
Oscar had followed his mother's instructions and
had agreed to go to Philadelphia as the guest of
his Uncle Henry, his mother's brother, who was
a wealthy merchant in that city. It occurred to
him that he could, perhaps, have Bull included
in the invitation, but the latter, when the plan
was suggested, declined rather forcibly.
" What could I do in a place like that? " he
asked. " I haven't even got a dinner coat, to say
nothing of a pak of dancing-shoes. I'd be a swell
sort of a friend to introduce to Philadelphia so-
ciety, I would! No, I'm going to New York for
a day or two and see Mr. Simmons, the man who
helped me come to Andover; and then, after
Christmas, I shall come back here and study. I
need to, I guess."
"Oh, come on, Bull! You don't know my
uncle. He wouldn't care whether you wore a
Tuxedo or a khaki sweater. He's a regular fellow,
140 THE ANDOVER WAY
— fought all through the War, and goes huntmg
in Africa. He likes people, not clothes.''
" That's all right. There won't be any battle
or any lion-hunt in Philadelphia this Christmas —
nothing hut * tea fights.' I'm going on my own."
And Bull refused to listen to any further argu-
During the last three days of the fall term,
there was a regular schedule of final examinations,
and it seemed to Oscar as if life were just one test
after another. On Thursday morning, however,
it was all over, and Oscar went with Bull to Bos-
ton just as soon as they could catch a train. On
the way to town, Oscar discovered that Bull had
planned to ride in a day coach to New York; and
it speaks volumes for Oscar's tact that he never
faltered, but bought his ticket in the same way,
although he had not imagined that anybody ever
took a journey of five hours except in a Pullman
car. It was his first lesson in "how the other
The two parted company in the Grand Central
Station, and Oscar went on to Philadelphia, where
he spent the next three weeks. He was very fond
of his aunt and uncle, and they, in their turn,
undertook to make the hours pass pleasantly. His
A GOOD SAMARITAN 141
Uncle Henry, who was a bluff, outspoken man,
did not hesitate to congratulate him on his im-
provement. " Great Scott, Alfred, you look as
if you were going to be an athlete. What has
happened to you? When I saw you last^all, you
were a poor, spindly thing; now you've filled out
in the chest, and your cheeks are ruddy. That
Andover must be a pretty good kind of school.''
" You bet it is," said Oscar, who had not been
called Alfred for three months. " It's the finest
little spot on earth, and I sure am glad that
Mother sent me there."
" She hesitated a long time before she did," re-
plied Uncle Henry. "She thought it was too
rough a place for you."
"It was just what I needed, Uncle Henry,"
went on Oscar. " I was the worst prig on this
side of the Atlantic Ocean. I may not be much
better now, but Andover is responsible for what-
ever change there is."
" Well, all I can say now is that your mother
is in for a big surprise. I just hope that I'll be
around when you meet."
If some of Oscar's former tormentors, like Hal
Manning and Joe Watson, could have seen him
at tea dances in the Bellevue-Stratford, moving
142 THE ANDOVER WAY
unembarrassed in the best society, they would have
been overcome by his poise and ease of manner.
He was back in his own environment once more,
where his virtues were recognized and his defects
seemed unimportant. Vacation was a continuous
succession of theatre parties, balls, concerts, and
teas, with a few dinners scattered in the program
here and there. Oscar's one sorrow was that he
had very little opportunity to keep up his run-
ning, but his Uncle Henry, who had been an oars-
man at New Haven, assured him that the respite
would be good for him. He did, however, take
some long walks in the park, and occasionally he
would break into a jog-trot on the long level
stretches. He was careful also not to eat rich
cakes and pastries, and he managed to get plenty
of sleep in the morning when he had been out late
the night before. His Uncle Henry watched him
with some amusement, but with inward delight at
the transformation which had taken place.
The climax of the holiday season was a Junior
League ball, attended by what seemed to Oscar
to be thousands of young men and women from
schools and colleges. He was standing in the
crowd of "stags'' on one side of the ballroom
when he saw Steve Fisher in a corner by him-
A GOOD SAMARITAN 143
self, evidently very much bored. Not quite cer-
tain whether he ought to be the one to claim ac-
quaintance, Oscar waited a moment; but soon
Steve turned, and, when he caught sight of Oscar,
he came eagerly in the latter's direction.
" Why, hello, Oscar," he cried, as he seized his
hand. " I didn't expect to see you in this part
of the world."
" Yes, my uncle lives here, and I'm staying with
him until Andover opens. Is your home in Phila-
"No, I just came down from New York for
this dance," replied Steve. " My home is in Mon-
tana, you know, and I've been spending the vaca-
tion with a fellow out in Englewood. He's the
one that dragged me here. The only trouble is
that neither one of us knows many of these girls."
" Is that so? " said Oscar. " Why don't you let
me introduce you? I've often been here to visit
my relatives, and I can lead you to some beau-
Steve, just a trifle skeptical, gave his assent,
and it is to be recorded that Oscar fulfilled his
promise. Within half an hour Steve had met
some of the most charming girls he had ever seen,
and was having an enthralling time, — at a dance
144. THE ANDOVER WAY
which, an hour before, had appeared very dull.
Before the evening was over he came up to Oscar
in a manner more ingratiating than he had yet
shown, slapped him cordially on the shoulder,
and said, " See here, old top, you've certainly done
me a good turn, and I appreciate it. You seem
to be the whole bag of potatoes down in this
* burg.' Your name is good for a million dollars."
It is certain that Steve, when he returned to
Andover, had something to tell Hal and Joe of
Oscar's lofty position in the social world. This
reputation did not injure Oscar in the slightest.
Oscar had had a delightful holiday, but being
anxious to get back to his running, he was not at
all regretful when the time came to report at
Andover. His Uncle Henry, who had enjoyed
him immensely, did not like to have him depart.
But the " Good-byes! " had to be said, and he
soon found himself among old school friends on
the Knickerbocker going from New York to Bos-
ton. There had been almost no snow in Penn-
sylvania, but, when he stepped off the Boston
and Maine train at the Andover station, there
was at least two feet of it on the ground, and
everything looked very wintry. " I'll have to do
all my running indoors," thought the boy, as he
A GOOD SAMARITAN 145
was jolted up the rutted hill in a taxicab and
stared out of the windows at the drifts along the
trolley tracks. Fortunately he had a new raccoon
coat which his thoughtful mother had insisted on
purchasing before she sailed; and Oscar had to
confess that it was not at all uncomfortable now.
When the cab stopped in front of Wendell Hall,
he looked cheerfully around at the now familiar
scenes, stepped out into the midst of a group of
his dormitory mates, and then rushed up-stairs
to Bull's room. As he burst in the door without
knocking, — ^his mother would have termed his
manners atrocious, — he saw Bull in his desk-chair,
leaning over with his head on his arms, a picture
of unredeemed dejection. At Oscar's blustery en-
trance, he jumped up quickly and tried rather
pathetically to assume a gay expression.
" Why, hello, you old reprobate," he shouted
with something of his usual boisterousness. " I'm
glad to see you back. Steve Fisher tells me that
you're the king of Philadelphia cotillion leaders.
Sit down and tell me all about it."
" I'm fine, of course," answered Oscar, who
could see at once that something was wrong.
" But what's the trouble with you? You look
like the last rose of summer! Are you sick? "
146 THE ANDOVER WAY
" No, I guess not."
*' Well, what is the matter? You are a regular
" It's nothing that you can help, kiddo."
" Say, why don't you loosen up and tell a fel-
low? If youVe stolen a watch or poisoned any-
body's soup, 111 keep mum."
"It isn't really very much, I suppose," re-
sponded Bull at last. " It's just that I can't stay
in Andover any longer."
'' Can't stay here! I thought you liked the
" I do, but all my money's gone."
" I don't see what difference that makes.
Aren't you working and earning your way? Be-
sides, I always thought that you had a scholar-
"You're right, I have; but you see I didn't
finish up last term quite so well in my studies as
I should have done, and the amount of my schol-
arship has been reduced. And then this Mr. Sim-
mons who has been helping me has written that
he can't afford to do it any more. So I've just
got to get out and begin earning money for my-
self. It's just as well, I guess. I could never
make the grade as a student, anyway."
A GOOD SAMARITAN 147
" If I were you, I'd just quit talking like that.
Look here, Bull, I get more money a month than
I could possibly spend in a year. It just piles
up in the bank, and it might as well be put to
some useful purpose. All I need to know is how
much you want, and I can get it for you pronto.
All I have to do is to write a check. There must
be more than a thousand dollars to my credit at
just this moment."
" But I can't take your money, Oscar. You're
a brick, but it wouldn't be right. You haven't
the shadow of a chance of having it returned.
You see it's literally true that I haven't a cent to
my name, and there's nobody back of me to help
me out. I'm playing a lone hand, as the detec-
tive stories say."
" I don't care whether I ever see the cash again.
Besides I know you, and I'm sure that nothing
can keep you from success. You will earn enough
within two years after your graduation to pay up
what you owe." Oscar was doing his best to put
forth every argument which would persuade Bull
to accept his assistance, knowing that the latter
was proud and that it would be no easy matter
to overcome his scruples. The two debated the
matter for a long time, and finally, as the mid-
148 THE ANDOVER WAY
night chimes were striking, Bull agreed to accept
a loan of five hundred dollars for his expenses
during the remainder of the year, with the specific
understanding that he was to sign a promissory
note for that sum and that Oscar would consider
the transaction as a business investment. When
the discussion ended in this settlement, both boys
were much relieved.
Still somewhat disturbed in his conscience. Bull
called the next morning at the office of the Head
to explain to him, man-fashion, just what had
" Do you think, sir, that I am justified in ac-
cepting Harris's proposal? " he inquired, after he
had told all the details.
" Why not, Taylor? '* was the Head's prompt
reply. " He has plenty of money of his own, — I
happen to know that. He likes you and believes
in your future. Furthermore, he is bound to be
much injured in his feelings if you refuse. I hope
that you will, by all means, borrow the money
and remain at Andover until the year is over."
"And you don't think, then, that it will seem
like sponging on a friend? "
" Not at all, my boy," said the Head reassur-
ingly. "Harris is an unusual lad, who has a
A GOOD SAMARITAN 149
mighty good thinking-piece on those shoulders of
his. JSe's a bit too individual, I suppose, from
the undergraduate point of view, but I have an
idea that he's going to be very popular before
many months go by/'
"You just bet he is," answered Bull, with a
vehemence which made the Head break into a
smile. " The only reason why he isn't liked bet-
ter now is because a lot of the fellows can't under-
stand his fine qualities. The truth is that he has
grown beyond the * kid ' stage, and a lot of these
birds, — I mean these boys, — ^haven't." Bull was
having difficulty in avoiding the slang which he
habitually employed with his friends.
" Well, at any rate, don't you hesitate to take
the money, Taylor," advised the Head, as he rose
to indicate that the interview was over. "And,
if you can make a little improvement in that Ge-
ometry, I'll arrange about some additional aid on
Neither Bull nor the Head felt absolutely bound
to keep Oscar's generosity a secret; consequently
it was not long before his fine conduct was gener-
ally talked about, and he found himself being
treated in a most kindly way by some teachers
who hitherto had not seemed exactly to under-
150 THE ANDOVER WAY
stand him. The incident, moreover, firmly ce-
mented his friendship with Bull. The latter
would not, from that moment, tolerate the slight-
est suggestion of critical comment of Oscar, and
nearly broke off amicable relations with some of
his closest companions because of some mildly
disparaging remarks which they made at Oscar's
expense. Oscar himself could feel, as the winter
wore on, that he was more and more being ac-
cepted as a " regular fellow."
It was just being discovered, moreover, that
Oscar had an uncanny gift for analyzing the psy-
chology of teachers and predicting the sort of
questions which each instructor was likely to ask.
Once, just before an examination which " Dolly "
Loring gave on Milton's Minor Poems, Oscar had
the distinction of picking out in advance five of
the six passages which that "prof" set on his
paper for interpretation. Achievements like this
made Oscar very popular just before the " rating "
period, when tests were common things. Fur-
thermore, Oscar gained a considerable reputation
as an explainer of difficult problems in Mathe-
matics, and his classmates learned that he was
always ready to help them with their written
work. He was recognized as a quick and clever
A GOOD SAMARITAN 151
student, but escaped the odium which attaches
to the " plugger '* and the " grind."
It was just after his birthday, in the middle of
January, that Oscar wrote to his mother a kind
of outline of his progress. A few passages are,
perhaps, not without interest:
" Dearest Mother:
" Now that I'm nineteen years old I suppose
I ought to feel a good deal wiser, and I rather think
that I have learned a bit in the last few months.
You keep asking me how I am getting along, and
I wish there were more to tell. My school work
is not so bad, and I must say that it seems very
easy to do. My morals are not being contami-
nated, I guess, and I haven't been caught in any
deviltry as yet. When I first came, I was a good
deal of a fool, and the fellows made me a kind of
goat. [" Goat! Goat! " said Mrs. Harris to her-
self as she read this. " What does Alfred
mean? "] But now they're more decent to me,
probably because they find that I'm on to their
game. [" On to their game! " repeated the puz-
zled mother. " My poor boy is losing his refined
ways and language! "]
" You want to have me say what I have learned.
First of aU, I've discovered that not all the influ-
ential fellows come from what we used to call the
* best society.' Second, I've found out that
money doesn't make any difference about a man's
popularity, — at least here in Andover. Third,
I've been taught by some experience that there's
something good in almost everybody if you can
152 THE ANDOVER WAY
only get to know him. You can't really hate a
fellow you know. Perhaps these things don't
seem to you very important, but they're worth a
good deal to me just now, — ^much more than any
Geometry or French.
'' You will be interested to hear that I've just
lent five hundred dollars to Bull Taylor. He used
to be a New York newsboy, and he's my best
friend in school. [" Horrors! " cried Mrs. Harris,
as her eyes fell on this sentence and caught its
meaning. " Poor Alfred ! I've probably ruined
his career! "]
" I hope that you'll plan to get back to America
for the Andover-Exeter Track Meet on Memorial
Day. I may run in it.
" Your affectionate son,
It will be surmised from some statements in
this communication that Alfred Tennyson Harris
had been busy framing for himself a working the-
ory of life. The materials for this new philosophy
had been provided from many sources, — from fire-
side talks with " Charlie " Foster, chapel lectures
by the Head, little adventures with fellow-stu-
dents, and conversations with an odd acquaint-
ance, David McGregor, the janitor for Wendell
Hall. David, who admitted that he was de-
scended from an ancient Scottish line, was a long
and lean figure, with a corrugated face, a confi-
dential manner, and a sly twinkle in his light-blue
A GOOD SAMARITAN 153
eyes, — all joined with a strong acquisitive sense.
He had been employed by the school for many
years and could tell stories about old boys for
generations back. Once Oscar said to him, " Look
here, Dave, you've seen a lot of things happen
here in Andover. Why don't you publish your
David, scratching his head over this rather long
word, finally got Oscar's meaning and replied,
" Mister Harris, whin I was a bye in auld Dundee,
I done lots of foolish things, but I never-r-r wrote
David was a loyal member of his local clan,
and attended the meetings with regularity.
There was one great evening during Oscar's year
at Andover when Harry Lauder, the famous come-
dian, made a visit to his countrymen in the town.
Of course a banquet was given in his honor, to
which all the Scotchmen in the vicinity were in-
vited. Professor Foster, himself a Highlander in
his ancestry, told Oscar of an incident towards
the close of the festivities, when the excited David
rose from his seat and caused a sensation by pro-
posing a health, " To Sir Harry Lauder, — and —
and — Sir Lady Lauder! "
Once on a very cold Sunday morning there was
154 THE ANDOVER WAY
a knock at Oscar's door, and David walked in,
threw off his rough tweed overcoat, and displayed
himself in full regalia, kilt, plaid, bonnet, and
bare legs. For the edification of Oscar, Bull, and
several other boys who congregated there, he did
a Highland fling to the accompaniment of a whis-
tled tune. When Bull Taylor remarked upon
David's exposure to the elements, the latter an-
swered, " Boy, the McGregors belong to a
har-r-dy race! "
When David was in the right mood, he liked to
toast his toes in front of the open fire and talk in
his broad dialect about " Bonnie Doon " and
"Auld Reekie," — often for so long that Oscar
would have to use summary methods to get rid
of him. One day the old man picked from the
bookshelf a gorgeously bound copy of Burns's
poetry, and, turning the pages, began in a low
voice to murmur the lines, shaking his head all
the time with delight. Gradually warming up,
he recited whole passages with a fervor which
only a genuine Scotchman can show. Oscar was
profoundly stirred by some of the poems, — not
the love songs, although they were fascinating,
but the sturdy lyrics of independence, particu-
A GOOD SAMARITAN 155
**Wliat though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, and a' that?
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine —
A man's a man for a' that."
The one which appealed to him most, however,
was a stanza which he came across by chance and
asked David to recite:
**If happiness hae not her seat
An' center in the breast.
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
But never can be blest !
Nae treasures nor pleasures
Could make us happy lang;
The heart ay's the part ay
That makes us right or wrong ! ' '
This, thought Oscar, is a whole sermon in itself.
So impressed was he with it that he induced
David to teach him how to pronounce the gnarled
consonants and to roll his "r's" like the great
Harry Lauder himself. Then, with fire in his eye,
he would rush into BulFs room and declaim :
**The heart ay's the part ay
That makes us right or wrong! "
Among the elements of a liberal education
which Andover had to offer Oscar Harris, this was
not the least ; and David McGregor proved to be a
noble exponent, — quite unconsciously, — of equal-
ity and democracy.
THE HERO WINS HIS SPURS
All his life Oscar had lived in warm climates.
As a child in Texas and as a youth in Southern
France and Italy, he had seldom seen snow, and
he had never known what it is to be cold, really
chilled through to the bone. Hence he had
looked forward with dread to the coming of the
New England winter, which his mother had de-
scribed to him as a season of sore throats, influ-
enza, and pneumonia. When he peered out of his
window on the morning after his return from the
Christmas holidays, he could see nothing but a
wide level plain of white, stretching all the way
down to the woods. Here and there beaten tracks
indicated that people had been out on snowshoes
or skiis. The paths which he had been accus-
tomed to follow on the runs were now completely
obliterated, covered by nearly a foot of hard-
packed snow. When he set out for the " Bean-
ery," he noticed that the broad Main Street, an
important highway between Boston and Portland,
had been cleared by scrapers so that automobiles
WINS HIS SPURS 157
could run without much difficulty; but the snow
was piled in gigantic drifts on each side. The
boys were wearing enormous flapping overshoes
and heavy ulsters, although most of them incon-
sistently refused to put on hats. Oscar, in his fur
coat, was by no means set apart, for there were
many garbed precisely as he was. There could be
no doubt that winter had descended on Andover
Oscar's first expedition, after he had reported at
the Registrar's office, interviewed his Class Officer
for the making out of his schedule, and unpacked
his trunks, was to the Gymnasium, where he made
inquiries about the track program for the term.
He was informed that he ought, first of all, to pass
off his " efficiency tests " if he desired to be abso-
lutely free for running. Going then to Dr.
Rogers's headquarters, he obtained permission to
take the necessary trials at once. These were of
various kinds, designed to give proof of strength,
endurance, agility, and courage. In the high
jump, Oscar, although he had never practised the
event, managed to clear three feet, nine inches,
thus securing fifteen out of a possible twenty
points. It was easy for him to cover the half-
mile in less than two minutes, fifty seconds, and
158 THE ANDOVER WAY
thus obtain the maximum of twenty points. As
soon as this was over, Dr. Rogers examined his
heart and lungs, and Oscar was pleased to notice
the physician's smile as he listened through the
stethoscope. " You are certainly still improving,
Harris," he commented. " Far faster than I ever
thought you could do it. And you must have put
on at least fifteen pounds since last fall."
" Exactly thirteen," said Oscar, with pardonable
With the thigh flexion, better known as the
" belly grind," Oscar had a little difficulty, but he
managed to perform that extraordinary operation
some nine times, thus obtaining fifteen more
points. Those unfamiliar with such things may
be interested to know that this exercise consists
in hanging from a bar with one's hands and lifting
the legs until the toes touch the bar overhead, — a
real ordeal for obese middle age but simple for the
young and supple. He had next to climb a pole
hand-over-hand, a difficult task for him because
his arms were not well developed as yet, and he
was still tall and ungainly. Twelve feet was as
high as he could go, — an addition of ten points to
his score. Last of all he had to dive into the tank
and swim a hundred yards, — a very simple propo-
WINS HIS SPURS 159
sition for a lad who had been brought up in salt
water and to whom a swim of a mile was nothing.
He was readily allowed the full twenty points for
this test. " Doc " Rogers told him that this
swimming was a trial which even experienced
athletes sometimes fail to pass. " Why," he said,
" look at Chuck Ellis, the quarter-back on the
Varsity. He has never been able to take a dive,
and of course he hasn't yet received full credit for
physical efficiency. He is coming around this
afternoon for one more try, but I doubt whether
he can make it. He has always been afraid of
water, and nothing can seem to eliminate that
fear. Yet you know that on the football field he
wouldn't be terrified of 'Red' Grange and
'Eddie' Mahan combined! "
When Oscar emerged dripping but triumphant
from the tank, Dr. Rogers certified him as " phys-
ically efficient," with a rating of eighty out of a
total of one hundred. "You'll do better than
that in a few weeks," commented Dr. Rogers.
"But you've made a fine showing considering
what you were last September. And now you're
free to enroll in any form of competitive sport
which you like. I suppose you're going to run,
aren't you? "
160 THE ANDOVER WAY
" Yes, sir! That's what I'm going to Iry to do.
And may I go over to the Case Memorial and
start this afternoon? "
" So far as I am concerned, it's all right. Only
don't be in too great a rush. You had better con-
sult Mr. Shepley, the Track Coach, right away
and find out what he wants you to do."
Oscar, quite satisfied with his progress thus far,
dressed himself and went out to find Mr. Shepley,
who was in the Case Memorial, — a great indoor
athletic field, with a dirt floor for baseball and
field events and a gallery with a hanging track
for the longer runs. The roof was entirely of
steel and glass, so that it was well lighted; and,
even in the dead of winter, when the snowdrifts
were two or three feet deep upon the playing-
fields, it was possible for the boys to practise bat-
ting and carry on their regular training in such
sports as jumping, weight- throwing, and pole-
vaulting. The building was a gift to the academy
from a distinguished alumnus in memory of his
son, — a young fellow who had played on the nine
but had died during the following summer from
the effects of an operation. Oscar, who had seen
something of this structure during the late fall,
was more than ever amazed at its huge size and
WINS HIS SPURS 161
at the number of different sports which could be
carried on there at one time.
Seeing Mr. Shepley in a corner watching some
shot-putters, Oscar went up to him and said,
" Mr. Shepley, Fm not much good, but I should
like to go out for track this winter. I'm ready to
start right away if you'll let me."
Mr. Shepley, — ^who was known to everybody at
Andover as " Shep," — was a broad-shouldered,
heavily built man of thirty-five, who was still ex-
ceedingly light on his feet and quick in his mo-
tions. He had played a good game of football in
his college days, and some of his records in the
weight events were still standing. Among the
boys he was very popular, for he was always even-
tempered, believed in a policy of encouragement,
and never failed to give each candidate a square
deal. He was the regular coach for all track ath-
letics, but under him was " Larry " Spear, a
younger man, not long out of the university, who
had won a place at the Olympic Games in the
1500-metre race and had a national reputation as
a distance runner. Shep preferred to have the
track events in the hands of " Larry " Spear, at-
tending himself to the field work.
" Hello, what's your name? '' inquired Shep,
162 THE ANDOVER WAY
who had never noticed Oscar before. The boy's
spectacles and thin legs did not give him the out-
ward semblance of a champion.
" Harris? Harris? Aren't you the fellow that
did some work with the cross-country squad? I
think IVe heard about you."
"Yes, I did go out once or twice with them,
but, of course, I'm mighty green."
"So was everybody once," said Shep laconi-
cally. " Got anything to do just now? "
"No, I don't have any classes until to-mor-
" Just throw off your clothes and jog around the
track a lap or two. I want to get an idea as to
how you run."
Oscar obediently took off his overcoat and other
outer garments, appearing at last clad like a
Vogue advertisement in his " B. V. D.'s." Shep
then called to Larry Spear, who was working in
another corner of the cage. He was a beautifully
built specimen of physical vigor, about five feet,
ten inches in height, and perfectly proportioned.
Oscar had often admired him as he led some of
the runners around the cinder track with long easy
strides. "Larry," said Shep, "here's another
WINS HIS SPURS 163
candidate for your * milers/ Don't you recognize
" Of course I do," replied Larry. " It's Harris,
isn't it? I'm glad you're coming out. I've seen
you starting off with Kid Wing and his gang."
" Yes, I've done a little running with him," an-
swered Oscar modestly, as Larry shook his hand.
" But I've never had any one tell me how it should
"Suppose we try you out a bit," said Shep.
"Now, Oscar, you go up to the track and trot
around twice at an easy gait. We want just a
line on your style."
Oscar promptly started out, going rather slowly
at first, and then tearing at top speed down the
last straightaway in obedience to a shouted in-
junction from Shep.
" That'll do," said the coach, as Oscar, breath-
ing rather heavily, came up from the finish.
" Where did you begin to run? "
" I never was on a track until last fall. Then
I got so sore at myself because I was put in with
the physical wrecks that I made up my mind to
develop myself. One day I just happened to fol-
low after the cross-country squad, and it was so
easy to keep up that I asked permission to go with
164 THE ANDOVER WAY
them. I've been practising every day since, ex-
cept during the Christmas vacation."
" You're not really so bad," said Shep. " What
do you think of him, Larry? "
" Well," said Larry, turning to Oscar after a
moment's thought, " of course you have your
faults, like all beginners, but I noticed when I
watched you running with Kid Wing last fall that
you evidently had stamina, which is essential in
running the mile. From what Dr. Rogers tells
me, you have been developing very rapidly since
then, and because of this you are lacking in speed.
Although you may not realize it, speed is just as
important to a good miler as stamina is. Also
your carriage is awkward, and, in improving that,
you will add to your speed and endurance. Let
me explain a minute. If you could have seen
yourself when you were running, you would have
noted that you were kicking your heels up behind
you. Now this is lost energy. What you want
to do is to bring them right forward when you
pick them up. Furthermore, lift your knees a
trifle higher when you stride forward and light on
the balls of your feet instead of in a flat-footed
manner. Then your back and shoulders were
held in too stiff a position, and you were leaning
WINS HIS SPURS 165
backwards. Instead of this, you should lean
slightly forward so that the weight of your body-
will be over the ball of your foot when you light
on it. Keep your elbows a little closer to your
body, and take a long, easy stride without tense
muscles; that's the kind that covers ground.
There's a long lecture for you. Do you think that
you can remember it all? "
" I'll certainly do my best," answered Oscar,
trying his best to conceal the discouragement
which he felt.
"Don't be pessimistic," continued Larry.
"You really are a natural runner, and I think
that we can get rid of your more obvious weak-
nesses in no time at all. All you need is patience
and industry; and so far as I can see, you have
plenty of both. You may not get to be a world-
beater in a week, but some day you'll be winning
races at college if you keep at it, and take care of
" Til do anything to learn how to run," burst
out Oscar, with an enthusiasm which made the
older men smile.
"All right, that's settled," said Shep. "You
turn up here at two-thirty this afternoon, and
Larry will take charge of you for a while. In two
166 THE ANDOVER WAY
weeks I'll have a look at you to see how you are
That was the beginning of a significant change
in Oscar's routine. He was now for the first time
to be really busy, with every minute occupied.
Each afternoon, as soon as lunch was over, he
went to the Gymnasium, changed his clothes, and
reported to Larry Spear in the Case Memorial.
For two or three days he did nothing but run up
and down on the dirt floor, trying to carry out
Larry's instructions about the way to manage his
feet and arms. He took special breathing exer-
cises for the enlargement of his lung capacity.
When his labors were over, usually about three-
thirty, he would strip, take a cold shower, and
have a refreshing plunge in the pool. He found
himself at first very tired and drowsy at night,
and he was glad to crawl between the sheets at ten
o'clock. But he awoke each morning eager for
more training, and Larry had to caution him re-
peatedly not to overdo his practice. " You must
keep yourself fresh and alert," he kept saying.
" If you carry actual running too far, you'll get
stale, and that's fatal! " It was a strange fact
that he was meanwhile steadily improving in his
studies. He realized, after two weeks of this sort
WINS HIS SPURS 167
of thing had gone by, that his regular habits and
robust health were enabling him to work more
rapidly and that his mind seemed to be clearer
than it ever had been before.
It used to interest Oscar immensely to see the
complicated machine that was in motion at the
Gymnasium and the Case Memorial, where some
of the faculty never went. He would pause on
the " Gym " floor to watch dozens of boys per-
forming grotesque antics in order to qualify for
some physical tests; in the pool he would come
across Mr. Dale, the Swimming Goach, showing
a group of what the Phillipian called " natators "
how to dive and plunge ; on the hockey rink, as he
ran across from the " Gym " to the Case Memo-
rial, he could see sweatered figures darting here
and there, chasing a puck over the ice; in the
gallery of the cage would be small squads of
fencers awkwardly handling the foils; and on the
floor of the enclosure around him there were al-
ways hurdlers and shot-putters and sprinters, each
one intent on some particular task. Even these
were not all, for, in secluded rooms in the Gym-
nasium there were boxers and wrestlers preparing
for matches, and at some hours on the " Gym ''
floor the basketball team would be assembled for
168 THE ANDOVER WAY
practice. Everywhere, it seemed to Oscar, stu-
dents were being taught how to acquire strength
for the burdens of life. Body was not being made
more important than mind; it was taken as con-
tributing to it. Habits of cleanliness and regular
exercise were being fostered which would last most
of these boys throughout their careers.
Little by little Oscar could feel that he was
improving. His intelligence made him quick to
catch and apply a suggestion, and he was an apt
pupil. Occasionally Larry Spear would praise him
when he did especially well. Soon he was practis-
ing how to start with the gun. Once a week he
was allowed to go into a real race with some of
his competitors, and he learned the joy of win-
ning over a friendly rival. It somehow gave him
renewed confidence when he discovered that there
were others who were not so good as he was.
" By George, Bull," he said one evening, " do
you know that I beat four fellows in a mile * try-
out ' this afternoon? "
" Good for you, Oscar," replied Bull. " That's
what you need most of all, — self-assurance! I'll
tell you right now that when you once get in your
head the idea that you can win, that's half the
WINS HIS SPURS 169
" Well, I'm not going to get ' cocky/ " answered
Oscar, "because there are three or four still
who are better than I am. But I'm going to beat
One of the important events of the Winter Term
is always the big carnival of the Boston Athletic
Association, commonly called the " B. A. A.
Games," in which there is included a relay race be-
tween Andover and Exeter. It invariably arouses
great enthusiasm among the followers of track
sports. The Andover team was composed of a
quartette of experienced men, headed by Phil
AUen, a brilliant quarter-miler. Two weeks be-
fore the meet, everything looked bright for An-
dover. And then, in quick succession, two of the
four were incapacitated: Henry Downing, the
second-best sprinter, fell ill with the mumps and
had to go home; and " Charlie " Nolan, always a
reliable performer, was operated on in the Infir-
mary for appendicitis. On the next afternoon
Larry Spear called the runners together for a final
look at them. Only PhH Allen and "Fritz"
Allis were left on the relay team.
" Fellows," announced Larry, as the twelve or
fifteen men gathered round him, " we're up
against it. There are only a few days left for
170 THE ANDOVER WAY
training, and we've got to rely on some absolutely
green men. I'm going to pick ' Barney ' Wright
and*' — ^he hesitated for a fraction of a second,
— "and Harris." Oscar felt a trembling at the
knees. " It can't be," he thought. " I must have
heard wrong." And then he heard his friend,
Mark Stackpole, at his side say, " Congratula-
tions, old man. You've got a chance now." To
have some one say that to him was a great en-
couragement in itself.
For the next ten days Oscar was so excited that
he could hardly eat. Larry had to get him aside
and warn him. " Harris, you're all on edge.
Calm down, or you'll go to pieces. To-morrow
afternoon there'll be no practice of any kind. I
want you to go back to your room, with the most
thrilling detective story in the Library, and forget
all about track meets and relay races. If you
turn up again as nervous as you were to-day, I'll
fire you off the team. I mean it ! "
This threat, which had a sincere ring about it,
made Oscar assume an outward calm, but in-
wardly he was seething. He dreamed again and
again of coming in yards ahead of his Exeter
opponent, and stepping up to receive the gold
medal which would be his reward. He could
WINS HIS SPURS 171
even hear the adulation of his fellows as he came
ba€k to his room after the victory. His horn's in
the classroom seemed interminable.
On the evening before the race, Larry Spear
gave the team some sound advice, warning them
of the peculiarities of their Exeter rivals and out-
lining the strategy which would be used. Oscar
was to run third, with Phil Allen, the blond
sprinter, coming last. It was to be Oscar's busi-
ness, — so Larry informed him, — not to lose any
more distance than he could help doing, and to
enable Phil to triumph over his Exeter opponent
as the race ended. On Saturday morning it was
impossible for Oscar to concentrate his mind on
his studies. No matter how hard he controlled
himself, he kept thinking of the responsibility
which rested upon him. During the early after-
noon he followed Larry's instructions and played
checkers with Mark Stackpole; but he hardly won
a game. He was thankful when the time arrived
for going to the train; and the trip in was made
endurable by the constant " jollying " which was
going on, especially between Shep and Larry, who
never tired of playing practical jokes on each
Almost before he knew it, he was in the dress-
172 THE ANDOVER WAY
ing-room, drawing on his running trunks, and Phil
Allen, coming along and slapping him on the back,
had cried, ''Buck up, old top!" He was fol-
lowed by Larry, who said, '' Here, Oscar, put on
a smile! It isn't a funeral, you know! In an
hour it'll all be over/' Oscar wondered how any-
body could speak so casually about a race which
to him seemed so momentous. It did not occur
to him that Phil and Larry had been in dozens
of similar contests, and that their coolness was
the product of long experience.
As Oscar stepped into the open, before a crowd
of at least ten thousand spectators, he felt as if
the whole world were staring at him. His knees
were knocking together, and he could almost hear
his heart beating like a trip-hammer. A weak
sensation swept over him; there was a colossal
hollow at the pit of his stomach, and he seemed
to be completely helpless. His attention was
concentrated for a few seconds on the problem
of keeping his ankles from bending under him.
Then he heard Larry Spear say, " Go out and
warm up with the others on the track for a min-
ute or two. You'll have more confidence when
your legs begin to move."
Larry's calm manner did a little to reassure
WINS HIS SPURS 173
Oscar, and he automatically followed Phil Allen
in his motions as the latter took little short sprints
up and down and then raised his knees as far up
in front of him as he could reach. Once as Oscar
stopped he could hear the Andover rooters giving
a '' long Andover, with Allen on the end! " He
pricked up his ears and listened, — ^yes, there it
was, the familiar sound! Then the cheer-leader
shouted, " Two and one for Harris, twice! " They
were cheering him! It was the first time in his
life that such a thing had happened! The noise
was like stirring music to his soul. Oscar glanced
at Phil Allen, who was completely imconcemed;
once he stooped over to tie his shoe-lace tighter
and occasionally he rose on his toes to make sure
that his muscles were functioning properly.
Watching him, Oscar found himself a little less
nervous and breathing rather more freely.
At last the men were called to the starting
mark. The Andover-Exeter race is the only in-
terscholastic event in the evening at the
" B. A. A.'' games, and it usually arouses more
intense enthusiasm among the spectators than any
of the college contests. A silence fell over the
throng as the two first runners lined up, Fritz
AUis, Andover's representative, side by side with
174 THE ANDOVER WAY
the Exeter sprinter. The starter gave his final
instructions. Then there was the report of the
pistol, and they were off! The track has three
laps to the quarter-mile, and, as the regulation
relay distance is a mile, each man has to go three
times around. Neck and neck the two dashed on,
hardly a foot apart as they completed the circuit
twice. Meanwhile Barney Wright, Andover's sec-
ond man, prepared to receive the baton from
Fritz's hand. The two rivals sprinted around
the curve, the Exeter man apparently gaining
slightly; but on the final straightaway, Fritz
pulled up abreast of him and came to the starting
point perhaps a flash of an eye ahead of his op-
Like an arrow from a bow, Barney Wright was
off down the boards, and Oscar, his teeth chatter-
ing, got into position ready to take his turn. Shep
spoke a few words of encouragement into his ear,
and Phil Allen, standing by his side, said, " You'll
do it all right, Oscar! Just keep your nerve."
Meanwhile the two runners were bounding on,
Barney, — who was, like Oscar, an untried man, —
falling ever so little behind. As they swept into
sight at the end, Oscar could see that the Exeter
runner was in the lead by a yard or two, and real-
WINS HIS SPURS 175
ized that he would have to give his opponent,
'' Sid '' Bixby, a handicap of several feet. He
stood expectantly on the mark, still trembling, —
not with fear but with excitement. The Exeter
man dashed in first, and then, like a whirlwind
came Barney. Oscar seized the baton, and, with
" Go it! " ringing in his ears, started off. From
the speed with which Bixby started, it was ap-
parent that he hoped to run Oscar right off his
feet. But Oscar had been carefully coached and
knew exactly what he was doing. Larry had said
to him just before the race, '' Remember, Harris,
you are not a sprinter. You must be careful not
to run yourself out during the first lap and then
die at the close of the second. No matter how
hard this Bixby tries to run away from you, keep
your head. This kind of a race takes brains as
well as sinews, and I want you to show that you
Oscar's first sensation was one of relief that his
legs were actually moving. He found, to his sur-
prise, that he was going along quite easily, with-
out any inconvenience, behind Sid Bixby. He
even noticed that his opponent seemed to be
straining to get a commanding lead, but, follow-
ing his instructions, he made no attempt to catch
176 THE ANDOVER WAY
him. As they finished the second lap, Oscar was
perhaps ten feet behind, and the Exeter stands
were a raving, shouting mass of humanity. But,
once in action, Oscar found himself amazingly
cool. He knew precisely when he would start his
sprint, and, as the two entered the back stretch,
he let loose his reserve energy. Inch by inch and
then foot by foot he could see himself drawing
nearer to his rival, who was obviously running
with difficulty. Consciousness of this fact gave
Oscar added power. He was not aware of the yell-
ing thousands; he could not have told whether
they were silent or cheering; but he was certain
that he could beat the Exeter man if only he had
distance enough. As they rounded the last curve
and started down the straightaway, he was still a
foot behind, but gaining. On they went side by
side. Oscar was desperately swinging his arms to
give himself impetus. His muscles were now very
tight, and his teeth were clenched. He saw Phil
Allen ahead of him, waving encouragement with
his outstretched arm, waiting to receive the baton
from his hand. With a final lunge forward, he
thrust it out, felt Phil seize it, and staggered to
the side of the track, only to be held up by the
arms of the onlookers. First among them was
WINS HIS SPURS 177
Mark Stackpole, who said, " Bully for you, old
top! We've got 'em! Phil can trim that fel-
low Hawkins without half trying! You've given
him a corking start! "
It had all been over so quickly that Oscar could
hardly believe that his part was done. But he
straightened up, pulled around himself the blan-
ket which some kindly disposed person had
thrown over his shoulders, and waited to see the
finish. Sure enough, Phil Allen, with the advan-
tage of a full yard which Oscar had given him, was
running away from the Exeter man, who was not
in good condition. In the end Phil crossed the
finish line at least five yards ahead. It was
a conclusive Andover victory, in not far from
record time. " Why," thought Oscar, as he walked
to his dressing-room, " Phil would have won for
us, no matter what I did ! " And then, along with
this idea, came the consoling recollection, "Any-
how, I beat my man! "
In the dressing-room Oscar had his first taste
of glory, — the glory which, in every age, has been
assigned to physical prowess. Man after man
whose face he did not recognize came up to shake
his hand, saying, "Fine race, Oscar! " or "Well
run, Harris! " Some one handed him a medal.
178 THE ANDOVER WAY
but he had no time to look at it. Most satis-
factory of all to Oscar was the moment when
Larry appeared and said, "Well, Harris, you're
going to make a 'miler,' I think. If you can
keep from getting conceited over this victory,
you'll turn out all right." And so, after the long
ride home in the train and the cold journey up
the hill to Wendell Hall, Oscar, somewhat bewil-
dered, a little tired, but very, very happy, fell
into a dreamless sleep. He had made good!
THE HERO WIDENS HIS HORIZON
Oscar's new friendships with such fellows as
Kid Wing and Bull Taylor had brought him
gradually into contact with a society about which,
during the fall term, he had known nothing. Fur-
thermore, his appearance on the track squad, to-
gether with the fact that he was picked for the
relay team, made him a familiar figure to the
student body. Soon he noticed that he was be-
ing spoken to cordially on the street by men who
had hitherto contented themselves with the in-
different greeting of conventionality. On one or
two occasions he actually found himself walking
across the campus with Steve Fisher, who, as
President of the senior class, was undoubtedly
the most important man in school. He became
well acquainted, moreover, with Hal Manning, in
whom he detected a kindred spirit; and he even
discovered by experience that the gayly dressed
Ted Sherman was a genial and unselfish soul at
heart. In short, Oscar could see signs that he was
180 THE ANDOVER WAY
being accepted by the members of a kind of inner
circle, composed of those who really shaped un-
dergraduate opinion. Such a group there must
inevitably be in a school like Andover, — a group
made up of the men who do things, who have
the capacity for leadership, and in whom their
mates have confidence. They are not always
athletes, although they are likely to be; but they
do possess personality and the heaven-sent fac-
ulty of getting along with others. As he became
more intimate with fellows of this type, Oscar's
outlook on life broadened. He saw that, in spite
of some mistakes, boys judge one another with
real shrewdness and discernment, and can usu-
ally pick the wheat from the chaff.
If such a society as a true democracy ever has
existed, it must be in a great American school, in
which boy meets boy in the beginning on abso-
lutely even terms, each individual student start-
ing with the same chance, regardless of his pre-
vious surroundings or antecedents. Naturally in-
terested in human nature, with all its frailties
and obsessions, Oscar saw around him boys of
every conceivable type, representing a hundred
difiPerent outlooks on life and the world in general.
On the same floor with him, for instance, lived
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 181
" Dutch " Von Bernuth, a young Hollander, the
son of a prosperous Amsterdam merchant, who
had sent his heir to the United States to learn
American business methods and get in touch with
transatlantic affairs. Dutch used to call on Oscar
with some frequency, largely at first because of
the latter's familiarity with Europe, and espe-
cially with Holland, which brought about a con-
geniality between the two. Later, however, there
developed a real friendship, based on a certain
similarity in dispositions. Dutch was a frail-look-
ing lad, with the manners of a courtier and a slight
foreign accent which lent charm to his speech.
" Didn't you have a hard time getting accus-
tomed to this place? " asked Oscar of him one
day as they sat together on the window-seat
watching the snow float down in enormous flakes
to the frozen ground.
" Of course I did. It was like getting adjusted
to a new world, — like moving from the earth to
the moon. And there didn't seem to be anybody
to tell me how to keep from making a fool of
"I felt exactly the same way,'' said Oscar
warmly. "Nobody acts as if he cared a hoot
about what happens to a new fellow."
182 THE ANDOVER WAY
''Later on, I found out that there were plenty
of people watching me all the time. But they
wanted me to get used to things all by myself.
It^s the most sensible plan in the end, — coddUng
never really helped anybody. Did I ever tell
you how I was fooled about 'Jimmie' Lapham,
the Chemistry Trof/ when I first came?"
"Well, when I arrived here, they put me in
Jimmie's 'dorm,' I suppose because I was a for-
eigner and they were sorry for me. I didn't know
much about this country, and I couldn't even
speak good English. One day, when I saw the
air-brake apparatus on the outside door, I asked
one of the older fellows what it was. He stopped
and explained to me very carefully that it was a
device which Jinmiie Lapham had patented him-
self for recording the names and hours of arrival
of any of the boys in his 'dorm' who stayed out
after eight o'clock. As the door opened and
shut, the whole thing was automatically regis-
tered. I swallowed the whole story, for he told
it without a smile on his face. Do you know that,
until the close of the fall term, if I ever happened
to come back late from any place, even if I knew
that Jimmie wasn't in his room, I always cUmbed
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 183
in at some ground-floor window? One night Hal
Manning saw me working hard to pry a window
up and wanted to know why I was getting in that
way when Jimmie was in Boston at the theatre.
I told him that I didn't want to get a ' cut ' for
coming in late, and went on to explain why.
Didn't I get the ' ha! ha! ' from the crowd? Oh,
no! Not at all!"
" Did you ever let Jimmie hear about it? He's
the kind that would appreciate the fun."
^^ Maybe I will some day, but I don't like to
call the unnecessary attention of any of the 'profs '
to how green I was."
"You're not the only greenhorn," said Oscar,
in his turn. " When I had been here about three
days, I asked Mr. Randall whether I could smoke
on my way to class. Of course I used to be a
regular cigarette fiend in Paris, and Mother didn't
seem to care much. It all seemed natural enough
to me to ask the question. But ' Weary ' looked
at me and thought, I imagine, that I was ' kid-
ding ' him, for he said, ' Really, Harris, the best
place for a " prep " to smoke is on the steps of the
Main Building.' I never questioned what he said,
and the next morning, after my eight o'clock over
in Pearson, I strolled across to the Main Building,
184 THE ANDOVER WAY
picked out a Fatima, and sat down with my back
against one of the pillars for a quiet after-break-
fast smoke. I had been there just about two
minutes, I guess, when along came the Head,
walking very fast as he always does. His mind
was on something else and he didn't see me until
he got very close; then his eagle eye fell on me
and he stopped short. Of course I stood up, and
then he said, 'Are you a student in this academy? '
'Yes,' said I, without a quiver, and not even
throwing the cigarette away. ' What are you
smoking here for? ' And then I, like the blither-
ing idiot I was, blurted out, * Mr. Randall told
me it would be all right.' ' Mr. Randall told you
that ! ' he repeated. ' Yes, sir,' I went on. ' I in-
quired whether I could smoke on my way to class,
and he told me that most fellows preferred the
porch of the Main Building.'
" The Head certainly gave me a searching look,
but I guess he saw that I was a little simple-
minded, for pretty soon he broke into a loud
laugh. He couldn't break off for two or three
minutes, but finally he calmed down and gave me
a lecture, — a kind one, all right, but without any
sugary stuff, — explaining how things were done
in Andover. I can remember almost every word
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 185
he spoke. ' He didn't even ask me my name, but
when he got ready to close, he said, ' If I were
you, my boy, I should get rid of those cigarettes
until I had acquired a decent physical devel-
opment. Here you are built a good deal like a
shoe-string and not any stronger than a fair-sized
rabbit. If I were your father, I should be
ashamed to own my son. But, if you feel that
you must smoke that thing, take it down in the
Grill where the school loafers sit around in the
morning, and don't let yourseK be caught with
a cigarette in your mouth on the street or in the
dormitories. Some of the teachers may not be
so considerate of you as I have been.' He was
mighty square about it all, and I hardly smoked
at all after that. Of course since I've been out
for track I couldn't do it, anyhow."
" That is certainly a funny story. It's queer
what simpletons we can be," said Dutch, smiling
to himself. " I had played soccer in Holland when
I was just a kid, and I thought I was pretty good.
Of course I joined the soccer squad and might have
made the team if I could have kept off * non-ex.'
But even when all hope of that was gone, I used
to keep on practising. One afternoon a good-
looking chap came up to me and said, ' What are
186 THE ANDOVER WAY
you kicking in that ridiculous way for?' I was
a little bit hot for the moment, and, before I
thought, I answered, ' None of your business, you
big stiff! ' As soon as I had spoken, I remem-
bered that the fellow was Roscoe Dale, one of the
new teachers just out of college. He was so thun-
derstruck that he couldn't even speak; and finally
he just flushed up and walked away. After the
practice was over, I went around to his room and
apologized. Do you know, he told me that he
felt so much complimented at being taken for a
schoolboy that he wasn't really mad at all."
Dutch's gifts as a story-teller did not keep him
from having trouble with his school work. He
was very well endowed mentally, and a psycho-
logical test would have shown him to be above
the average of his classmates; but he was repeat-
edly becoming absorbed in some outside activity
and neglecting his less-alluring daily tasks. For
one term he was fascinated with organ-playing
and commenced taking lessons under Dr. Schleier-
macher, but he practised so assiduously that he
flunked all his courses at Christmas and was
promptly placed on probation, — known by the
students as " Pro." Shortly after came the terri-
fying interview with the Head which is the in-
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 187
evitable accompaniment of a vote of probation
by the faculty.
" Well, young man," said the Head, as he saw
Von Bernuth enter his office, "what will your
father say when he receives this last unsatisfac-
tory report of yours? "
" I don't know, sir. He may order me to re-
turn home right away, but I hope not.''
" He may behave like the Chinese Government.
Last year one of our Chinese boys, Cheng, had a
very poor record in his studies, and I had to write
an official notification to the authorities who sent
him here on a national fund. About a month
later I received a reply to this effect, — * Send
home the criminal Cheng immediately at our ex-
pense and we will have him beheaded.' They
would have done it, too, and I'm not sure that
the same kind of rough justice isn't what you
Dutch assumed one of his characteristic plain-
tive smiles and replied, " I'd rather keep my head
for the present, if you don't mind, sir. The trou-
ble is that there are so many diversions to lead
one away from his work. I keep wanting to try
some new game, like chess, and the first thing I
know, I get an 'F' in History. But I'll agree
188 THE ANDOVER WAY
to reform if you'll only let me have one more
" Very well, Von Bernuth/' responded the
Head, who, in his broad humanity, could not help
sympathizing deeply with the lad. '' But just
remember this, — we can't continue forever mak-
ing allowances for you just because you come
from a foreign land. You are bright enough when
you settle down to business. Your motto ought
to be, * When I became a man, I put away child-
ish things.' Now you'd better enter at once on
a new period of your life, — turn over a new leaf,
as we say here in America. I don't want to have
you called before me again."
" I don't want to come again, either," replied
Dutch, " at least on this kind of an errand."
For the benefit of those who do not know
Dutch, it ought to be said that he did finally
graduate with his class from Andover, but only
because two or three of his instructors were af-
flicted with an attack of generosity just as the
Young Von Bernuth was only one of many in-
teresting men whom Oscar was learning to know.
It is probable that Oscar, when he entered An-
dover, was not altogether free from the taint of
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 189
superciliousness. He had always associated with
well-groomed people, who observed the same rules
of etiquette and used the same precise idiom. Now
he was thrown with fellows representing every
rank of society and every sort of breeding. In
his English class he had on his right the heir to
one of the largest fortunes in the United States,
— a shy, inconspicuous boy, with an insignificant
personality, who never spoke unless he had to
do so and exerted no influence whatever in the
school. On Oscar's left was a black-eyed, red-
cheeked, talkative little lad named Sassoferrato,
the son of a Sicilian emigrant, who had a cheer-
ful smile for everybody. He once told Oscar that,
in the evenings and on holidays, he worked in his
uncle's fruit-store in Lawrence; and his ambition
was to become a lawyer and serve in the legisla-
ture. Between the millionaire's son and the emi-
grant's child, Oscar would have selected the latter
as his companion on any basis of choice.
On several occasions Oscar took a dislike to
some fellow on account of his voice or his neck-
tie or some peculiar personal habit. Later, when
he grew better acquainted with him, Oscar be-
came aware that the offensive attribute was
merely superficial, having no relation whatever to
190 THE ANDOVER WAY
the soul underneath. One or two incidents taught
Oscar that he must be very careful not to judge
others too hastily or on insufficient evidence.
There was human material of every conceivable
kind in Andover. It was like life itself, with
identically the same cross-sections that may be
found in any small city, — thrifty and improvident,
aggressive and indolent, liberal and mean, intelli-
gent and stupid. There were little cliques of
various kinds, — of " sports," of athletes, of mu-
sicians, of " fussers," of writers. It was advisable,
Oscar discovered, to go slow before allying him-
self with any one group ; and, as a matter of fact,
he never allowed himself to become too closely
identified with one more than another.
Indeed, when he came to think things over, he
found that his friends were of many different
kinds. There was an American Indian, named
Jernigan, with the high cheek-bones and copper
color of his race, who was a skilful baseball player
and undeniably the best actor in the academy.
In native dignity and physical attractiveness he
was superior to most of the white students. Oscar
saw him frequently, and enjoyed nothing more
than talking with him regarding the treatment of
his people by the United States Government.
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 191
Then there was a dapper little Central American,
Ramon Cortez, of Spanish ancestry and haughty
bearing, who had a reputation for untold wealth
and justified it by the luxury of his apartments
and the money which he spent on clothes. His
harmless escapades with young ladies were divert-
ing to his friends, — especially as he was a little
bit inclined to boast about his conquests. There
was one boy, Leslie Ascham, who had spent his
childhood in Egypt, almost under the shadow of
the Sphinx and the Pjo-amids, and another who
had been born and brought up in Jerusalem,
within sight of the Mount of Olives; and near
these would be lean and nasal New Englanders,
who had never been across the Hudson River.
There were Southerners from Alabama and Texas
and Kentucky, with soft voices and gentle ways,
but fiery in their tempers when aroused. There
were stalwart young men from Western ranches,
who had always dwelt in the open. There were,
of course, Chinese and Japanese, meeting each
other a little suspiciously at first, but often play-
ing together on the same soccer team as if their
countries had been friendly for a century. There
was an Italian, Dannunzio, who admitted that he
was over twenty-five and who was a fully-
192 THE ANDOVER WAY
ordained clergyman in a parish not far from An-
dover Hill. He preached sermons before his
Italian congregation on Sundays and then came
back to his classroom work in Andover on Monday
morning, indefatigable in his passion for an edu-
cation more fitted to his profession.
One of the oddest characters was " Tony " Levy,
a Polish Jew, who came from the North End of
Boston. Day after day he failed in his recita-
tions, but he regularly came up smiling for the
next attempt. *' Do you know," he once said to
Oscar, in his indistinct guttural utterance, *' how
they let me in Andover? I was so dense in my
studies in grammar school and so full of deviltry
that each teacher wanted to get rid of me. So
every one kept promoting me to get me out of
the way, and before long I was in the top class.
Then I came here and broke all records by cover-
ing four years in one. You see they registered me
as a senior last fall because Mr. Lynton said that
I ought to be there on the basis of my high-school
diploma. I kept dropping back at each rating,
until now I'm in the lowest class, with * kids ' of
fourteen and fifteen, — and I'm twenty-four.
Probably at Easter the faculty will bounce me
out, — ^that's what I deserve, for I can't seem to
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 198
learn anything from books. Too many peasant
ancestors, I guess! But I'll bet that no other
man here ever travelled backwards so far in so
short a time."
In the course of his observations Oscar came
to the conclusion that any man with an honest
purpose, no matter how eccentric he might be,
was respected by the undergraduates. The stu-
dent who did not get along was the " smart
Aleck/' the one who was "fresh'' and thought
that he knew it all. The cardinal sin in a " prep,"
for instance, was " freshness." Uncouthness, vul-
garity, effeminacy, — these were drawbacks, but
they could be forgiven, — '' freshness," never!
When he tried to define " freshness," he found it
rather difficult. Talking too much, sneering at
school customs, wearing "loud" clothes, — ^these
were all signs of " freshness," but there were also
others the secret of which Oscar could never pene-
trate. What he did see, however, was that a
reputation for "freshness" was exceeding hard
to outgrow. There were many men who never
fully recovered prestige after some foolish blunder
committed inadvertently during the early weeks
of the course.
Through talks with men like Steve Fisher and
194 THE ANDOVER WAY.
Hal Manning, who represented the best element
in the undergraduate body, Oscar was led into
further ambitions, the achievement of which
would demonstrate his versatility. When the call
for the Dramatic Club appeared, Oscar, who was
familiar with the theatre, determined to present
himself as a candidate. The try-out consisted
merely of the reading of a part assigned by the
coach, ^' Hook " Edwards, one of the English in-
structors. When his turn came, Oscar delivered
with passionate fervor the tragic last speech of
* ' Soft you ; a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know't.
No more of that."
As he concluded with the words, "And smote him
thus! " Oscar gave himself an imaginary stab and
sank limp and lifeless to the floor, to the delight
of his auditors, who did not hesitate to applaud
vigorously. Oscar was not ordinarily conceited,
but he was now convinced that he had the genius
of a Walter Hampden, and he was sure that he
could make a " hit " on any stage. On the fol-
lowing morning, therefore, he was overjoyed to
read in the Phillipian that he had been assigned
a part; and he was on time to the second that
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 195
evening when Mr. Edwards met the successful
competitors. In announcing the various roles,
Mr, Edwards spoke briefly on their significance:
" Of course Jernigan will be the hero. He's the
best actor in school, the only one who can do the
part decently. As for you, Harris, I'm going to
use you as Dr. Dryasdust, the funny college pro-
fessor. It ought to fit you perfectly."
" But, Mr. Edwards," objected Oscar, much in-
jured in his pride, " I'm not a humorous actor.
I never took a comic part in my life. My bent
is towards tragedy."
" That doesn't make any difference, Harris.
You're tall and thin and wear spectacles, and are
rather funny-looking. All you'll have to do is
to be natural."
There was a wave of laughter in the room, and
Oscar blushed a brilliant scarlet. " But " he
"But me no *buts,'" said Mr. Edwards, in
mock cajolery. " Be a good sport ! You're chosen
by unanimous agreement of the judges, and you'll
make the sensation of the evening. You won't
have to do a thing but be yourself. We'll add a
few delicate touches to your costume, and the
house will scream itself hoarse/'
196 THE ANDOVER WAY
Oscar had reason to feel that this was a dubious
compliment. He had expected to be assigned a
role like that of Hamlet or Romeo. Indeed, he
had seen John Barrymore as the "melancholy
Dane" in New York during the holidays and
noticed what he thought to be a similarity be-
tween himself and that tragedian. When he told
this to his Uncle Henry, the latter said, " The
only resemblance I can see is in the legs, — you're
both skinny! " Nevertheless Oscar persisted in
his delusion, and now he was inclined to resign
from the club. But, after the meeting was over,
Mr. Edwards, who was kind-hearted as well as
sharp-tongued, stopped him and spoke to him in
a sympathetic way.
" Look here, Harris," he said. " There's more
merit in being a good comedian than in being a
perfectly rotten hero. You have something of a
talent for burlesque, and not a vestige for tragedy.
Why not accept the facts and do your best as Dr.
" I'll do anything you want to have me do,"
answered Oscar, in a tone of resignation. " But I
hate to make a display of myself as a fool."
" We're all fools at one time or another, Oscar.
Some of us, who happen to have selected teaching
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 197
as a profession, have spent our lives being ridicu-
lous. After all, you'll make a mighty entertaining
fool! That's something to be considered! "
Oscar accepted this tribute with the best pos-
sible grace and went off in a happier mood. A
httle serious reflection induced him to decide to
do his best in the part assigned to him. For a
month or more, during the stormy February even-
ings, he studied his lines, imtil he actually be-
came keenly interested in the character which he
was representing. The result was that when the
performance was given, in March, in the new
auditorium, he was applauded even more than
Jernigan and had to show himself four or five
times before the curtain. In the next Phillipian
Oscar was delighted to read a criticism of the play,
written by his English teacher, Mr. Loring, in
which the latter said:
" Quite the most finished acting of the evening
was done by Harris, who made the character of
Dr. Dryasdust very real to the audience. It is a
pleasure to see an undergraduate catching the
subtlety of a part like this and presenting it so
intelligently. Harrises interpretation was the suc-
cessful product of intelligence plus wise instruc-
Oscar's imlucky experience with secret societies
198 THE ANDOVER WAY
during the fall term had made him chary of any
references to them, and he had resolved to drive
them from his mind forever. It was evident, as
he looked about, that students who deliberately
tried to get into the good graces of society men
seldom succeeded in their aim. He was deter-
mined that he would keep steadfastly on his way,
regardless of what fraternities might mean in un-
dergraduate life. It happened that his rehearsals
on the Dramatic Club threw him into intimate
contact with Hal Manning, who had called fre-
quently at his room, once or twice bringing other
fellows with him. The conversation on these oc-
casions was very general, and Oscar attached no
significance whatever to it. He recalled later,
however, that Hal had asked him a few questions
regarding his family and his life abroad. Things
came to a climax on one March evening, when
Hal said to him, " Oscar, I suppose you have been
told that your father was K. P. N. here? "
"Yes, I knew it because Mother gave me his
pin, and IVe always kept it/'
" How would you like to join that crowd your-
" Say, Hal, are you planning to initiate me into
another fraternal organization? I should think
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 199
that once with you would be enough. It is for
" No, this is serious. I don't blame you much
for shying, but really, Oscar, you've changed a
good deal since last September, you know. We
all want you, and you'll be in the crowd with
Steve Fisher and me. Besides, I should think
that you would like to go the way your dad
" I do, Hal. But you've got to admit that this
invitation is just a little sudden. I can't get used
to the fact that you and Steve want me in
K. P. N."
" Then you'll give us your pledge? "
" If you're being straight with me, I certainly
will. It's the only society I should ever join.
But if this is another joke, I'll never forgive you."
It was no joke. Before the term was over,
Oscar had been formally initiated, this time with-
out a river bath, and was wearing the jewelled
pin of K. P. N., the same symbol which his fa-
ther had been proud to display. Oscar was glad
to realize that there were those among his com-
rades who had confidence in him and his future.
He accepted the honor as evidence of his progress
200 THE ANDOVER WAY
One morning during the week while Oscar waa
" running " for the society, Ted Sherman, who
was a member of Q. M. C, met Hal Manning on
" Hi, Hal,'' he shouted. " Say, who's this Harris
you're taking into that punk society of yours? "
"Why, it's Oscar Harris, the relay team man,
a good deal better fellow than anybody in your
wretched gang of shysters."
"Oscar Harris! I know him, of course. But
isn't he the same chap we saw last fall when he
was entering, and didn't you and I claim that
there was nothing in him? "
" Sure, that's right, we did! " answered Hal, re-
calling the incident. "And you wanted to bet
twenty-five dollars that he wouldn't last over
" I remember. Well, something must have hap-
pened to him, or else you K. P. N. men are draw-
ing a blank."
" No, he's a real fellow. He's changed a tre-
mendous lot in six months. Even Steve admits
that he's a presentable kind of person now."
"Well," said Ted, as he started on his way,
"I'm going to retract all that I ever said about
the influence of Andover. If it can make Oscar
WIDENS HIS HORIZON 201
Harris into a normal human being, it can do
anything. Steve was right. The fellow had good
stuff in him, and it was brought out here in the
regular Andover way.'*
THE HERO IS UNDER SUSPICION
It was while he was in the midst of rehearsing
for the annual dramatic performance that Oscar
was accidentally involved in an affair which gave
him some publicity with the authorities and
seemed likely at one time to terminate his An-
dover career. About quarter to eight one evening,
when it was already quite dark, he discovered that
he had left his Latin Composition book in his seat
in Pearson Hall and rushed hurriedly out of his
dormitory, without troubling to put on an over-
coat, in the hope that he might be able to get it.
Rather to his relief, the door of the recitation
hall proved to be unlocked, and, dashing up-stairs
to Professor Foster's classroom on the top floor,
he quickly picked up the volume which he had
missed. As he stepped back into the corridor,
he had a fleeting glimpse of two figures rushifig
rapidly down the stairs, and, although the shad-
ows there were thick, he was sure that he recog-
nized them as two students who sat near him in
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 203
his Virgil section. He shouted, " Hello, there! "
but there was no reply, except from the rever-
berating echoes from wall to wall. Somewhat
startled at these apparitions, Oscar turned back
to the classroom which he had left, pressed the
electric-light button, looked around to make sure
that no one was concealed there, and even in-
vestigated the little conference-room connected
with it. Nothing could he see or hear! In his
bewilderment he did not think of inspecting Pro-
fessor Bannard's room at the other end of the
building, but decided to beat a retreat as soon as
possible. When he had descended, however, he
was confronted by the fact that the outside door
had apparently been locked while he was up-
stairs and that he was therefore shut in. Again
he paused for reflection. There was something
mysterious abroad, — something really disturbing.
It was the work of only a minute or two to enter
one of the classrooms on the ground floor, un-
latch a window, and let himself down six or seven
feet to the solid earth. But, just as he thought
himself absolutely safe, he was tapped on the
shoulder by no spirit hand. Turning in some
confusion, he beheld the uniformed night watch-
man who had the guardianship of the school plant.
204 THE ANDOVER WAY
"Ah, young man," ejaculated the ofl&cer of the
law in a stern manner. " What are you doing
leaving this building in this stealthy manner? "
"Just hunting up a text-book I left behind,"
explained Oscar, going on to tell how he happened
to be found emerging from a window, but care-
fully refraining from any mention of the two
figures which he had seen.
" Well, I suppose it's all right," grumbled the
policeman. '' But there's something funny about
this. Here I come along and find the door wide
open, lock it up, and then you come shooting out
of a window. I'll just take down your name in
case there's any trouble later. Tve got to fulfill
my duty." He took out a note-book, wrote down
Oscar's name, with the address, '' Wendell Hall,"
and placed the memorandum back in his pocket.
" Run along, now, or you'll be marked out," he
said kindly. " It's almost eight o'clock and the
last bell is ringing."
Oscar sped swiftly back to the dormitory, de-
voted the remainder of the evening to poring over
the Latin text-book which had caused him so
much annoyance, and then went to sleep, — a trou-
bled sleep, haunted by spectres of weird shape and
color, who seemed to be approaching him from
HE IS UXDER SUSPICIOX 205
a lighted door. In the morning he awoke ready
to forget the entire incident; but at chapel, after
the customary prayer, h>Tnn, and Bible-reading,
the Head stood up behind the pulpit with an un-
usually serious expression on his face and spoke
to the school:
'' Gentlemen, I don't often have to complain in
this place of any deliberate mischievous and de-
structive acts on the part of the students at An-
dover. Regardless of the prevalence of banditry
and lawlessness in cities. I have been sure that no
such spirit exists here on this Hill. But something
happened last night so outrageous that I must
dwell upon it for a moment. A vandal, — I know
no better word to describe him. — broke into
Pearson Hall last night and deliberately mutilated
one of the most beautiful statues in Professor
Bannard's Greek room, — a reproduction, the origi-
nal cost of which was well over two hundred
dollars. It was the act. not of a practical joker,
but of a mean and malicious mind, and I cannot
believe that any one of you was concerned in it.
But the most careful investigation will be made
of the affair, and. if any one in this audience was
among the culprits, he will do well to confess to
me during the morning. I can understand, toler-
206 THE ANDOVER WAY
ate, and even condone childish pranks which do
no one any harm, but this kind of destruction to
valuable property is inexcusable."
The Head's talk naturally made an impression,
as he had intended it should do, and it was the
most popular topic of conversation during the
day. The broken fragments of the statue had
been collected in the classroom which the un-
harmed figure had once adorned, and little clusters
of boys gathered round them to see what damage
had been done. Oscar himself naturally sat down
in his room to think out what had occurred on that
fatal night, and it occurred to him at once that
he would probably be called as a witness, — the
watchman would surely report his name. But,
in his innocence, he never dreamed that he might
himself fall under suspicion, until, at his eleven
o'clock class, he was handed a note from the office
ordering him to report without delay to the Head.
As it was Oscar's first summons of this nature,
he was very much perturbed. Without notifying
his instructor or confiding in any one, he left
precipitately and ran to George Washington Hall,
where the Head's Secretary asked him to be seated
and wait for a moment. In a short time out came
Ted Sherman, who, seeing Oscar there among the
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 207
mourners, said, " The Head's like a roaring lion
this morning. If you're going in there, prepare
to be chewed alive. Here all I've done is to get
caught out of my * dorm,' and you might think I
had committed arson."
When Oscar was ushered into the room, he
could see that the Head was not in an amiable
" Good-morning, Harris," he began, in quick
incisive words, sharper than Oscar had ever heard
him use before. " I am told that you were seen
climbing out of one of the windows in Pearson
Hall last evening just before eight o'clock."
" Yes, sir, I was."
" Were you concerned, then, with the mutila-
tion of the statue in Professor Bannard's room? "
" No, sir, I was not."
" What! You weren't? How then do you ex-
plain your presence in the building at that unusual
" I had gone back for my Latin Composition
text-book, which I had left there by mistake in the
" How did you get in? "
" I found the door unlocked, sir."
" Why, then, did you climb out the window in-
208 THE ANDOVER WAY
stead of walking out just as you went in? " The
Head spoke as if he were confident that Oscar was
in a trap.
" The door had been locked while I was up-
stairs by the night watchman, who had found it
open when he made his inspection. Of course I
couldn't get through it.''
" H'm! " said the Head, in a quandary. " Your
story has some plausibility. But you will admit,
Harris, that it would ordinarily sound very sus-
picious, and that it is even more so in view of
what is known to have happened in that building
" Yes, sir, I can readily see your point of view.
Naturally everybody on the faculty must think
that I did it. But I didn't, sir, I didn't. The
facts are precisely as I have stated them."
" In spite of your declaration, Harris, we shall
have to investigate your statement very care-
fully," announced the Head, in concluding the
interview. " So far, you are unfortunately the
only one who could possibly have been implicated
in the affair."
" Very well, sir," said Oscar, who could only
with difficulty restrain his tears. " I merely wish
to tell you again that I had nothing whatever to
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 209
do with the breaking of the statue and that I am
quite wilhng to submit to any sort of investiga-
tion which you desire to make. An innocent
person ought not to be alarmed by any ordeal
As he said this, Oscar looked the Head in the
eyes in such a straightforward and manly fashion
that the latter was much impressed. When he
had first been informed by the night watchman of
Oscar's unusual method of exit from Pearson Hall,
he had taken it for granted that the boy had
been playing what seemed to him to be a funny
prank. Aware of Oscar's former reputation for
" queerness," the Head arrived at the logical con-
elusion that this was simply another indication of
his oddity. But now, as he listened to Oscar's
declaration and watched his bearing, he was con-
vinced in his heart that there must be some error
" My boy," he said, as he stood up and placed
his hand on Oscar's shoulder, "when you came
in here, I had no doubt whatever that you were
guilty. But I'm bound to admit that I now be-
lieve your story implicitly. If you are telling me
a falsehood, then I'm no judge of character. The
trouble is that all the evidence is so much
210 THE ANDOVER WAY
against you, and there seems to be no one else to
While the Head was speaking in this friendly
fashion, Oscar was thinking of the two figures
whom he had seen on the stairs. Six months
before he would have blurted out the story; now
he had learned better, and he merely continued to
" You go out now, Harris/' concluded the Head.
" Don't worry at all. If I need you, I'll call you
Oscar went out of the room and down the steps
thoughtfully, his hands in his pockets and his
mind intent on the problem in which he was so
strangely involved. When he reached Wendell
Hall, he described the interview to Bull, giving
him also an account of what had happened on the
previous evening; but he held back, even from
Bull, any reference to the stealthy figures on the
staircase. Before the day was over most of the
school knew that Oscar Harris, the runner, was
under suspicion and might be " fired." Small
knots of fellows gathered here and there on the
campus to talk it all over. There was a general
feeling among the undergraduates that Oscar
could not possibly be the miscreant, and men
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 211
whom he hardly knew stopped him just to say,
" Tough luck, kiddo! I don't believe a word of it.
It'll come out all right."
A famous member of the New York police
force had recently lectured to the school on the
finger-print method of identifying criminals and
had shown slides filled with mystifying whorls
and curves. It was currently reported that tell-
tale finger marks had been found on some of the
statue fragments and that every boy in the acad-
emy would be obliged to have his prints taken.
It was rumored that three detectives had been
engaged to prowl about in the dormitories hunt-
ing for evidence. Boys who were familiar with
"Sherlock Holmes/' "Monsieur Dupin," and
" Lecoq," scented an opportunity to carry on some
amateur sleuth work. There was excitement in
the air like that before an Andover-Exeter game.
When Oscar had leisure later on that evening
to meditate on the facts, he let his memory carry
him back to the moment when he had watched
the two figures rushing down to the floor below,
as if engaged on some nefarious business. One he
was sure was "Phil" Timian; the other he
thought was " MifP " Stanley. Both belonged to
what was known as a " fast crowd." Phil had an
212 THE ANDOVER WAY
unpleasant fox-like face, with freckles, sandy hair,
and shifty blue eyes. Miff was of a different type.
He had round moon-like features, chubby cheeks,
and a perpetual grin, or leer, so that he resembled
a guileless cherub, incapable of any deviltry or
deceit. The two were invariably together, and, as
the students knew, their comradeship was seldom
for good. Neither one was depraved nor de-
bauched, but no one cared to trust them very far.
They had acquired a reputation for being sly and
underhanded, and fellows like Steve Fisher and
Joe Watson utterly despised them. Oscar had not
met either Phil or Miff that morning, — in fact, he
knew them only slightly, — ^but he could not help
wishing that he could have a frank talk with one
or both of them and ascertain the truth. The
more consideration he gave to the matter, the
more certain he became that the two must know
all about the affair, even if they had not been
responsible for the actual mutilation.
For two or three days the one topic of con-
versation at the " Beanery " and in the Grill was
" Who broke up the statue? " When Oscar
slipped into one of the booths at the Grill for
supper, hoping to escape his well-meaning friends
at the Dining Hall, he was assailed with queries
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 213
by every passer-by, " What did the Head say to
you?'' ''Are you going to be 'fired/ Oscar?"
and " Got any fresh dope to-night? " He did his
best to avoid the subject, but everybody was eager
for information. On the next morning he came
unexpectedly on Phil and Miff talking and
gesticulating very earnestly behind the Main
Building and hastened to accost them, but they
turned and walked away so rapidly that he could
not follow without giving the impression of
pursuing them, which he did not care at that time
to do. In chapel they seemed to be deliberately
attempting to avoid him, and once when Oscar
unexpectedly confronted Miff around a corner,
the latter's complacent grin was replaced by a
frightened expression. All these incidents con-
vinced Oscar that he was only too well acquainted
with the perpetrators of the outrage.
On the following afternoon Oscar was sum-
moned once more to the office, — this time into the
presence of the Head and the members of the
faculty discipline committee. When he was
questioned, he persisted in his original account of
what had occurred on that momentous evening.
Finally, when the cross-examination was over and
Oscar sat back in relief, the Head asked in a
214 THE ANDOVER WAY
casual way, " Harris, did you see any one in or
near Pearson Hall that night? "
"Yes, sir, I did."
"Who was it?"
" I'm sorry that I can't inform you, sir."
" What do you mean? "
"Nothing, except that I must decline to tell
you whom I saw on that evening."
" Do you realize, Harris, that you may be ex-
pelled from Andover for being connected with this
unfortunate episode? "
"Yes, sir, I do, but I cannot, under the cir-
cumstances, bring evidence against my fellow
" So it was one of your fellow students whom
you saw? " inquired the Head, suavely following
the " lead " that had been given.
Oscar was much chagrined at his carelessness
in revealing this detail, and made up his mind to
watch his tongue. " I'm really sorry, sir, that I
can't answer any more questions," he said, with
a slight stammer. " If it is necessary for me to
be punished for an offense in which I had no
share, I'll accept the verdict. But please allow
me to withdraw."
" I think that we can excuse you now, Harris,
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 215
if you wish to go. But I trust that you will
reconsider your decision."
Without daring to say another word, Oscar
bowed silently, and left the room, leaving the
puzzled committee to talk over the situation.
" Gentlemen," resumed the Head when the door
had closed, " that lad is as innocent as you or I.
He is simply obsessed by that quaint schoolboy
idea of honor which forbids him to ' peach ' on a
'pal.' With him loyalty to a comrade has be-
come one of the major virtues."
" That's really strange," remarked Mr. Loring.
"Didn't I ever tell you that Harris was the
youngster who tried to tell me last fall that some-
body was cribbing in my examination? He was
honestly astonished when I wouldn't listen to
"Well, some one has taught him the school
code of honor since then," said Mr. Foxcroft.
" He's as immovable as a rock at this moment.
We can all recognize that, whatever he may have
" I'm inclined to believe that his present atti-
tude represents a higher ethical stage," com-
mented Professor Foster, who had been keenly
interested in Oscar's attitude towards his inquisi-
216 THE ANDOVER WAY
tors. "How about you, sir? What are your
views on this delicate question of morals? "
" Under the circumstances I decline to commit
myself," answered the Head, with a smile. " But
I know what I should do if I were in Harris's
" So do we all," added Professor Foster. And
the committee returned to the business at hand.
As a result of their debate, which was con-
tinued until a late hour, the Head on the next
morning again spoke to the undergraduates:
" I am sorry that the one responsible for the
mutilation of Professor Bannard's statue has not
seen fit to confess. The faculty have already
accumulated evidence against one member of the
school who is known to have been in Pearson Hall
on that evening. This man admits having seen
at least one of his schoolmates in the building,
but refuses to disclose his name. We have dis-
covered on the fragments of the statue some
finger-prints, which have been carefully preserved
by a specialist and which are indubitably those of
the offender or offenders. Unless the guilty per-
sons appear before me within twenty-four hours,
I shall be obliged to ask every member of the
undergraduate body to have his finger-prints
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 217
taken by an expert. I intend to run this matter
down, regardless of trouble or cost. I sincerely
hope that those who are culpable will have the
courage and the honesty to make themselves
Oscar glanced in the direction of Phil Timian,
and noticed that he seemed red and nervous.
After chapel, Oscar watched him as he joined Miff
Stanley, and strolled with him slowly up to the
Main Building, evidently concerned with serious
problems. At last Phil, seeing Oscar behind him,
halted with his companion, and the two waited
side by side for Oscar to come along.
" Hello, Harris," began Phil, with a cordiality
which did not have the ring of sincerity. " It has
been mighty white of you not to tell on us."
" Yes," continued Miff. " You must have rec-
ognized us right away. We saw you clearly
enough, and we've been worried ever since. And
you could have * squealed ' on us at any time."
"Well, what are you two going to do?" in-
quired Oscar. " That's what seems important to
me. It strikes me that it will improve things if
you own up and take your punishment. You are
bound to be caught sooner or later."
" Aw, I don't believe it/* replied Phil, with a
218 THE ANDOVER WAY
snarl. " I don't want to be ' fired ' any more than
you do. My Dad would put me to work in a
store or throw me out into the street, — I don't
know which. Besides this talk about finger-prints
is all ' bunk.' They haven't any clue to go on."
" I shouldn't be too certain of that," answered
Oscar. " The faculty know pretty well what they
are doing. Besides you ought to be men enough
to own up." The Oscar who was speaking in this
resolute tone was a very different boy from the
Alfred Tennyson Harris who had come with his
mother to Andover in the previous September.
" Look here, Harris," pleaded MifF, who was
evidently more open to reason. " It wasn't any-
thing more than a kid trick, anyway. There was
nothing criminal about it. Why should there be
so much excitement over an old statue? "
" Well, it's likely to cost ' Jove ' Bannard or
the Trustees some money to replace the thing.
Personally I don't care what you do. I guess I
can stand it. But I've been accused of being the
one who did it, and you're making me the * goat.'
Is it playing the game square with me? "
" That's what I keep telling him," said Miff.
" If you weren't mixed up in it and hadn't been
so decent, I shouldn't care what happened.'*
HE IS UNDER SUSPICION 219
"It's easy enough to advise anybody to con-
fess," grumbled Phil, " but it's a lot harder to do
" I'll go with you if you like," suggested Oscar.
" No, I'm not ready yet," said Phil. " I can't
just make up my mind about it."
" All right! " was Oscar's farewell remark as he
ran off to class. " But the longer you wait, the
worse it is going to be. It's like having a tooth
pulled. Go quick, why don't you, and get the
agony over? "
Oscar arrived tardy for his English class and
was so busy for the rest of the morning that he
gave the conversation no further thought. But
on his way to lunch he saw the Head a short dis-
tance away, and, at his beckoning hand, went to
"Well, Harris," said the Head, in his usual
buoyant mood, "you'll be glad to hear that we
have found out the scoundrels who did the dam-
age. Timian and Stanley have just been spend-
ing an hour in my office. I am delighted to an-
nounce that you are completely exonerated."
" What about them, sir? Will they have to be
"I'm afraid that the faculty can hardly let
220 THE ANDOVER WAY
them off without some fonn of punishment.
What would you do with them?" With this
query, the Head looked innocently at Oscar.
" I don't know, sir. But I can guarantee that
they're terrified sufficiently. I'll bet that they
would reform if you could let them back."
" We can hardly do that just now, in view of
the stir which they have caused, but perhaps, if
they make a good record somewhere else between
now and June, I may be able to persuade the
faculty to let them return in the fall. We'll see."
Within a few hours Phil and Miff had packed
their trunks and taken the train for Boston, on
their way to their respective homes. Before they
left, however, they came to Oscar's room and said
a rather shamefaced " Good-bye! "
"It was a fool stunt to do," admitted Miff,
" and we haven't any complaint. But I do hope
I'll get another chance next year."
" Yes," added Phil, " and you've been a ' brick,'
Harris. Some day I may be able to pay you."
For his part, Oscar was glad that the incident
was closed. He had had a narrow escape, — one
which made him shudder to think about. For by
this time he had made up his mind that Andover
was the finest school on earth.
THE HERO IS TRIED BY FIRE
There are times in any young man's develop-
ment when he seems to be moving forward by
leaps and bounds, — ^mentally and spiritually, as
well as physically. Such a period Alfred Tenny-
son Harris, although not altogether conscious of
it himself, had been going through ever since his
arrival in Andover. Freed from his mother's nar-
rowing restraint, he had taken advantage of all
the opportunities which had been offered to him,
and, by meeting responsibility, he had become in-
dependent. In his appearance he was, of course,
much altered. His head was more erect, his bear-
ing was more manly, and he was in robust health.
Once, in midwinter, Mr. Slater, the Treasurer,
met him on the street and said, " Good-morning,
Harris. Has the Dining Hall food turned you into
skin and bone? "
"Not exactly, sir. IVe gained nearly twenty
pounds since last September. That's doing pretty
well, isn't it?"
222 THE ANDOVER WAY
" I thought that you had put on weight. But
don't you remember how you came in to me to
complain about the ' Beanery ' food, and the lack
of delicacies, like jellies and pastries? ''
" I was certainly a fool, sir. The only fault I
have to find with it now is that there isn't enough
raw meat! "
" You're prepared to recommend it, then, are
you, Harris? "
" Yes, and I'm ready to show myself as a liv-
ing example of what it can do for an habitue of
Mr. Slater smiled and went on, quite satisfied
with the recantation of the former critic. And
there were other changes which Oscar might have
mentioned as indicative of his improved condi-
tion. To his amazement he hardly had a cold all
winter, — he, who had become accustomed to stay-
ing in bed ill for weeks at a time with minor in-
fections, such as sore throats and earaches. His
power of resisting germs had increased, and he
seldom now had even a headache. He might have
been picked out at any time by Dr. Rogers as a
specimen of perfect health.
Mentally the boy was steadily growing more
mature. As he was drawn more and more into
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 228
athletics, he had less time to devote to reading,
but he did, nevertheless, buy many new books;
and he discovered that his fine physical condition
enabled him to get through his classroom prepa-
ration in much less time than it had formerly re-
quired. Mr. Loring, who had watched his progress
in English with much interest, advised him early
in the term to enter the competition for the
Brooks-Bryce Prize, awarded to the best article
by an Andover student on the general subject of
friendly Anglo-American relations. The prize
was a large silver cup, presented by a generous
New York lady who was interested in interna-
tional affairs. Oscar did not, at first, take the
suggestion very seriously; but one day in the li-
brary he came across a shelf of reference books on
the assigned topic and, picking one up, became
fascinated by its line of thought. He was led on
gradually to more exhaustive study, until the ex-
tent of his researches made the librarian, Miss
Snow, gasp with astonishment. When he had
completed the stipulated three thousand words,
he had it typewritten, and handed it in under an
assumed name. The running-practice became
more strenuous at just about this time, and Oscar
forgot all about his essay.
224 THE ANDOVER WAY
On the Sunday afternoon before Washington's
Birthday, there was a special vesper service in the
chapel to commemorate the occasion. At this
time an address was delivered by a professor from
Harvard University, and then the Head arose and
announced the winner of the Brooks-Bryce Prize.
After stating the terms of the contest and thank-
ing the donor, he went on to say that the judges,
— three members of the faculty, — ^had awarded the
trophy to the essay signed " Vera, the Dancer."
There was some laughter at this peculiar nom de
plume; and then Oscar, the most surprised man
in the chapel, walked down the long aisle to re-
ceive the cup. There was tremendous applause
from the student body, for Oscar had just been re-
lieved from the suspicion of having injured the
statue, and everybody was aware of his efforts to
shield the real malefactors. The Head smiled as
he handed the huge trophy to the winner; and
Oscar grinned broadly in return. As he made his
way back to his seat, the clapping redoubled. It
was evidently a popular award.
A day or two later Mr. Loring called him up
after class and said, " Harris, have you ever had
any special training in writing? "
" No, sir, — that is, nothing unusual. I once had
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 225
a tutor who had some reputation as a biographer,
and he told me some devices for building up a
composition. Then my mother has a fair style,
and she has given me a little instruction."
" Well, so far as I can see you have a natural
gift for this kind of thing, and you have made a
steady improvement. I hope that you'll be able
to keep it up."
"It all depends on what I'm best fitted for,
doesn't it? When Dad was alive, he always
wanted me to be a lawyer, but so far I have no
leaning towards that."
" There's plenty of time yet, of course. But I
thought I would let you know how I feel."
" Thanks very much, sir. You're the first
teacher who ever told me that he was satisfied
with what I did. It helps."
" Oh, I'm not satisfied. You can do better still.
But I do want you to feel encouraged. And, by
the way, do you know that your winning essay
will be sent in for the national competition among
the successful essays from the various schools? It
has a good chance for first place, I think. If you
get it, you'll have another gigantic cup and a free
trip to Europe."
"Well, I shall not even think about it until
226 THE ANDOVER WAY!
the track season is over. And that's not until the
close of school." And with this remark, Oscar
dismissed the matter from his mind for many
weeks to come.
The indications of Oscar's physical and mental
progress were, perhaps, more obvious than those
of his character development. Yet to those fa-
miliar with the facts, it was evident that Oscar
had won the respect of his associates. Starring
under an immense handicap, he had becon^e a
popular senior, and his room had become a place
to which many fellows liked to come. It was p -*
decorated, like so many, with school and co'i !*
banners, photographs of beautiful " choriiifes,"
and advertising signs picked up on adventurous
raids. There were tapestries in conspicuous
places, and some extra pieces of furniture had
been installed to supplement the standard equip-
ment provided by the school. There were even
sets of classic authors in fine bindings, — Steven-
son, Hardy, Anatole France, Arthur Machen, and
Hugh Walpole, — a strange and interesting assort-
ment, displaying the catholic taste of the owner.
Oscar, as the winter term wore on, became very
fond of his surroundings and kept trying to make
them more attractive. He was constantly adding
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 227
new volumes to his library or buying another pic-
ture for his already crowded walls. And then,
just as he began to feel entirely at home, came a
That there was some smoking in Wendell Hall,
in defiance of the regulations, Oscar well knew,
and he wondered why more fellows were not
caught. Mr. Randall was a very careful proctor,
who attended strictly to his duties and could be
counted upon to make the rounds of the different
rooms at least once every evening, looking in each
e just long enough to assure himself that the
imate occupants were all there and that no
forbidden occupations were being pursued. As
the hour of his visitation could never be accu-
rately predicted, the boys were careful to obey the
rules. Occasionally the report would be circu-
lated that the instructor was going out to dinner
or was spending the night in Boston. Then the
inhibitions would be removed, and there would
be a vigorous and cleansing " rough-house." Gen-
erally speaking, however, the order in Wendell
Hall was excellent, and Oscar was able to devote
his evenings to study without being disturbed.
After ten o'clock, however, when the "house
prof " had presumably retired, there was less re-
228 THE ANDOVER WAY
straint, and there Were several men who smoked
clandestinely, blowing the smoke from a '' good-
night " cigarette out the window or up the fire-
place. Oscar himself, as soon as he took up run-
ning, dropped smoking as a habit, and had not
resumed it. He knew that it was harmful to his
wind, and he was not thrilled by the idea of break-
ing a rule merely because it was a rule. Once in
a while some one he knew would be detected and
placed on *' Probation," but the penalty was no
deterrent to inveterate cigarette fiends. These
were usually, however, men of little standing in
the school, who were certain to be dropped before
the year was over.
One night just before the close of the winter
term, Oscar, who was free for a few days from the
restrictions of training, was sitting up late in front
of his wood fire, intent on a book which he just
discovered in the library, — Frazer's one-volume
edition of The Golden Bough, It was so thrilling
in its tales of magic and taboo that he felt al-
most like reading until morning; but common
sense asserted itself, and, a little after midnight,
he walked into the corridor to take a shower be-
fore crawling into bed. The smell of smoke as-
sailed his nostrils, and he sniffed suspiciously as
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 229
he entered the lavatory, but finally concluded
that it was only some indiscreet late tobacco
maniac. His fears a little allayed, he stepped
under the shower, finished his bath, and started
back to his room. He could now scent a strong
odor, — ^not cigarettes this time, but burning wood.
The smell was unmistakable! Rushing down-
stairs, Oscar found the corridor on the second
floor reeking with fumes, and he could see actual
flames through a transom above his head. He
tried to open the nearest door, but it was locked.
Shouting at the top of his voice " Fire! Fire! "
he succeeded in rousing several men, who came
out in their pajamas, sleepily rubbing their eyes.
The slumbers of youth are very heavy!
The heat was already suffocating, and there was
no time to be lost. One intelligent boy dashed
down to notify Mr. Randall and to telephone to
the local fire department. A few others seized
the chemical extinguishers in the comers, but it
was plain that the time for their effective use had
passed. Meanwhile Oscar cried, " Come here, fel-
lows! We'll have to break down this door. Let's
get a sofa and knock it through! "
Three or four of the lustier men, including Bull
Taylor, hauled out a lounge from a neighboring
280 THE ANDOVER WAY
room, and began the task of demolishing the
locked door. Holding the solid piece of furniture
up and running forward with all their force, they
succeeded in driving it as a battering ram part
way through the panel. One more smash and
the door fell, but the flames licked out so vi-
ciously that most of the crowd dispersed. Oscar,
however, had provided himself with a bath towel
soaked in water, and, as the door dropped, he
crawled in on his hands and knees. For a second
he felt overwhelmed by the smoke, but he held
the towel tight over his face ard groped his way
to the bedroom. There on the bed he saw very
vaguely a motionless form. Throwing the figure,
blankets and all, over his shoulder, he shot back
as swiftly as he could, the long tongues of fire
darting at him as he ran. When he reached the
corridor, he slipped and fell, but strong arms
dragged him away from the terrible heat. He
could hear Bull Taylor say, " Good God, Oscar,
we thought you had gone for good! Come along
quick. Let*s get out of this! "
Staggering and exhausted, Oscar let Bull take
up his inert burden, and the two descended as
fast as they could to the ground floor and out
into the open air, where a throng of students was
Staggering and exhausted, Oscar let Bull take up
HIS INERT BURDEN.— Page 230,
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 231
gathering. The biting wind revived Oscar at once,
and he cried, " Some one get a doctor quick! This
fellow's dying! " Bull and he laid the limp form
on the snow and unwrapped the coverings. When
the face was exposed, they saw that it was Carl
Woodward, who had apparently been overcome
by smoke while he was sleeping, and was thus un-
able to escape. Familiar with the process of
resuscitation, Oscar began working desperately at
the youngster's arms, moving them up and down
in approved Red Cross fashion. In a few minutes,
however. Dr. Runner, one of the town physicians,
arrived and administered additional first-aid treat-
ment. Oscar had been sure that Carl was dead,
but, under expert care, color returned little by
little to his cheeks and he began to revive.
"Here," said Dr. Runner to some of the by-
standers, *' it's altogether too frosty for this lad
here. Take him to somebody's house, — no, I'll
move him to the Infirmary in my ear. Can't two
of you huskies lend a hand? "
The lad was lifted into Dr. Runner's automo-
bile, and the physician drove off. Then Oscar,
his tension a bit relaxed, had time to gaze about
him at a dazzling scene. There had been nearly
a foot of snow on the ground, and a light rain on
282 THE ANDOVER WAY
the previous afternoon, turning into sleet and
freezing quickly, had covered everything with an
icy glare. The trees were masses of crystals, glit-
tering in the lurid flare from the burning dormi-
tory. The branches of shrubs and evergreens were
bent over until they touched the snow, and the
scintillating pendants clattered in the wind. Even
in rubbers, it was not easy to stand upright, and
the firemen, who had made an appearance with
amazing speed, were having difficulties in manag-
ing the hose. From the roof, flames were leaping
out high into the air, illuminating the sky for
rods around. Two jets of water, however, were
being played on the conflagration, and firemen
were struggling desperately to get it under con-
trol. By this time most of the school had as-
sembled, everybody shivering in the zero tem-
perature. Soon Oscar saw the Head approaching.
"Great Heavens, Harris!" he cried, as he
looked him over. " Haven't you any shoes on?
What are you wearing under that bath-robe?
Bewildered, Oscar looked down at his attire.
He was in his bare feet, just as he had emerged
from the bathroom. He felt underneath his robe.
Sure enough, he was stark naked, without even
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 233
pajamas to cover him! He had been so much
excited by what he had undergone that he had
never noticed his lack of clothing.
Oscar attempted to stammer something, but the
Head shouted to one of the instructors at his side.
" Here, will you see that Harris gets down to the
Infirmary? It looks to me as if he had been
scorched around the face. Anyhow, he's numb
with cold, and I want him put to bed immedi-
In spite of some feeble protests, Oscar was
shoved into a Ford sedan by Roscoe Dale, cov-
ered with a blanket and fur coat, and rushed to
the Infirmary, where the matron ordered him into
a warm cot and gave him a steaming drink. Soon
Dr. Runner entered and put some ointment over
the blisters on his face, which were commencing
to feel painful.
"I hear that you're a hero, young man,'' he
said, as he examined his wounds. " It was mighty
plucky of you to go back and save that lad's life.
He would certainly have burned to death if you
hadn't pulled him out."
Oscar was too much exhausted to say anything
original in reply. Instead he made the customary
story-book answer. "It wasn't anything, Doc.
234 THE ANDOVER WAY
Anybody would have done it. But I'm glad that
he will get well/'
"Yes, he had a fairly close call, and two or
three minutes more of that smoke might have
finished him. But he has a good constitution, and
he'll be around in a week, just as well as ever."
When the physician and the nurse had left,
Oscar still lay awake, tired though he was, look-
ing out the window at the tongues of flame as
they rose and fell. From his bed on the east side
of the Infirmary he could watch the glare and
could even hear the shouts of the firemen as they
fought the blaze. Little by little, however, the
redness died away, and Oscar, overcome with
weariness, sank tranquilly to slumber.
When he awoke, he saw a pretty nurse gazing
at him. Where was he? Oh, yes, he remem-
bered! He reached out his arms and felt of his
face and neck, only to find that they were covered
with bandages. He tried to raise himself up, but
perceived that his back and legs were very sore.
"You'd better take it easy,'' said the nurse,
smilingly. "You're not as strong as you think
you are. Wait until we've bathed and massaged
you, and then you can try sitting up."
" My, am I so badly off as that? " Oscar asked.
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 235
" Oh, no, you're not really sick, — just a trifle
weak from shock. You're not going to be with
us long as a patient/'
"All right, nurse. But tell me, how is Carl
Woodward getting along? "
" Is he the boy who was brought here just be-
fore you last evening? "
"Yes, that's the one."
" Oh, he's fine. He didn't get burned any to
speak of. He just swallowed a lot of smoke."
"Oh, nurse," asked Oscar, raising himself up
again, " am I so much injured that I'll have to
stop running? "
" Goodness, no," answered the young lady.
" You have one or two painful burns on your face,
but your eyes weren't touched and your legs and
lungs are quite all right. You won't suffer any
permanent damage, except possibly a scar or two
on your cheeks."
" Thank Heaven ! " said Oscar, whose one ap-
prehension had been that he might have to aban-
don his track work. " I don't worry about my
face. I don't care about that at all, for any change
will be an improvement. But I should be broken-
hearted not to be able to run."
Oscar was able to sit up a little later and de-
236 THE ANDOVER WAY
molish a grape-fruit, two dishes of cereal, plenty
of bacon and eggs, a plate of toast, and several
cups of cocoa. The process of eating was not al-
together pleasant, but he was the victim of a
colossal hunger. Later, after Dr. Runner had
examined his burns and replaced his bandages,
Oscar walked to a chair near the window and
gazed out at the blackened roof of the dormitory,
where the fire had raged so devastatingly on the
previous evening. The glamor of the scene had
entirely gone. Evidently the firemen had suc-
ceeded in checking the blaze before it reached the
lower rooms, for the first floor seemed to be un-
injured. All around the building, however, the
snow was tramped down by hundreds of feet, and
there were desolate-looking piles of furniture, pic-
tures, and books scattered here and there, where
they had been deposited the night before. Lit-
tle was left of the top story except charred tim-
bers, and it was clear to Oscar that he had lost all
his belongings, — even his clothes. He had liter-
ally nothing of his own to wear except one bath-
robe. He had to smile as he thought that he had
hardly a possession left in the world. Even his
copy of Eric, or Little by Little, had vanished in
the flames. He would have to start again.
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 237
As the day went along, Oscar's ward became a
kind of reception-room, and visitor after visitor
arrived to call upon him. Steve Fisher, Joe Wat-
son, Kid Wing, Bull Taylor, — all these friends
came with wearing apparel to place at his dis-
posal, until he had a miscellaneous collection of
knickerbockers, shoes, shirts, neckties, and other
haberdashery sufficient to stock a store. Shep and
Larry Spear came in together to cheer him up and
assure him that he would soon be on the cinder
path again. Oscar, with great strips of gauze
around his head, only his eyes and mouth visible,
greeted them one after another. Just before noon
the Head stepped in, very solicitous about his
burns; but Dr. Runner, who happened to be there
at the time, declared that they were only super-
"How this fellow escaped without any more
serious disability, I can't understand," said the
physician, pointing to Oscar. " He was right in
the midst of the flames, and yet he was merely
scorched. It's lucky for him, of course, that he
had those damp towels over his face. Otherwise
he might have lost his eyesight."
" The good die young," interposed Oscar whim-
sically. " I'm too tough a nut to kill, Doc."
238 THE ANDOVER WAY
" I'm glad you're still cheerful/' said the Head.
" You'll need all your courage. I must tell you
that everything in your room was burned up.'*
" I supposed so," was Oscar's answer. " But
I honestly don't care just so long a^ my running
won't be interfered with. I can buy new clothes,
but not new legs."
" You'll be on the track in ten days," said Dr.
" That's great, sir! " said Oscar gleefully. "And
would you mind telling me where I can find a
place to live for the rest of the year? "
" That's going to be easy," answered the Head,
who had already settled that matter. " Hal Man-
ning says that he has plenty of space for you in
his suite over in Phillips Hall, and you can go
there if you like. Would that suit you? "
" That will be bully, sir," commented Oscar,
who was very fond of Hal. "Just so long as I
have a cot and a few clothes I'll be all right."
Before the day was over Hal Manning appeared
himself to present the invitation, doing it in so
gracious a manner that Oscar could not help ac-
cepting the offer. Now that both boys were in
" K. P. N.," the problem was simplified, and Oscar
felt as if he had another friend besides Bull Tay-
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 239
lor. Later on, Oscar found that similar arrange-
ments had been made for the housing of all the
homeless refugees who had resided in Wendell
Hall, and, by a process of doubling up, they had
all been distributed among the other dormitories.
Oscar was much embarrassed to find himself a
school hero. Bull Taylor, who had escaped un-
injured, told the story of Oscar's deeds every-
where, and the episode bade fair to go down in
the annals with the tale of the Andover graduate
who so gallantly sacrificed his life in an effort to
save women and children at a fire in a New Haven
moving-picture theatre. Boston newspapers sent
reporters out to get the news and published a full
account, including Oscar's picture in running-
trunks and track-shirt. Mrs. Woodward, who
came on from Kentucky to nurse her son, nearly
overwhelmed him with gratitude. All sorts of
delicacies were showered upon him, — ^avocado
pears, California dates, enormous grape-fruit, and
boxes of chocolates, — ^more than he could have
eaten in a month. There were moments when
Oscar felt as if he would like " to fade away unto
the forest dim," where he could escape the atten-
tion of the grateful mother.
Oscar remained in the Infirmary until the term
240 THE ANDOVER WAY
closed, making sure that his burns were properly
healed and taking his final examinations there by
a special dispensation. When school was over, he
managed, in borrowed finery, to motor into Bos-
ton with Hal Manning, where he accumulated an
entire new stock of clothing. His purchases at
one or two stores almost led the clerks to believe
that he was going into business for himself. Suit-
ably equipped with raiment, he spent a week at
Hal Manning's home on Commonwealth Avenue,
where he soon became a favorite with the family.
He had one delightful evening when Hal's sister,
Janet, now Mrs. Edward J. Hopkins, who lived in
Dedham, came in and told Oscai' of her flirtation
with Steve Fisher, when Steve was a " prep '^ at
Andover. She described the affair with so much
humor that the family were in shrieks of laughter;
and Oscar treasured it in his mind to use in case
Steve ever tried to ridicule him at the " K. P. N."
house. He recognized the value of a weapon of
retaliation when jokes were passing.
It was hard for Oscar to leave the Manning
home, with its warm hospitality and its attrac-
tiveness, and Mrs. Manning, a motherly kind of
woman who had taken a fancy to Oscar, kept urg-
ing him to stay longer. But Oscar was eager to
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 241
get out on the track once more and try his legs;
furthermore he wanted to get settled in Hal's
quarters in Phillips Hall so that all would be
ready when the spring term opened. Early in
April, then, Oscar returned to Andover Hill and
established himself in Hal's room on the third
floor. Anxious to contribute his share to the joint
establishment, he depleted his bank account by
purchasing some new furniture and a few choice
engravings for the walls. But it was already so
well supplied with the luxuries of school life that
there was little which he could add without turn-
ing it into a museum.
On the afternoon of his return, — a windy,
cloudy, unpleasant day, with mud everywhere un-
der foot, — Oscar strolled across Main Street to
look at his last term's home. There it stood, with
charred timbers and rubbish all around, the work-
men already starting to clear away the debris
preparatory to rebuilding. As he was gazing sadly
and reminiscently at the wreckage, recalling the
comfort of his former quarters on the third story
and lamenting his treasures which had been de-
stroyed, Mr. Randall, who had seen him from his
study window, came out to welcome him.
" Hello," he said, in his slow voice. " I'm glad
242 THE ANDOVER WAY
to see that you've fully recovered. You look just
about as good as new. And I'm mighty sorry that
you are going to leave Wendell Hall. We'll miss
'^ Thank you, sir. I was just thinking as I was
standing here how sad it makes me feel to move.
I hope that your part of the dormitory was not
" We had some water leak through the ceilings,
but it wasn't anything serious. It looks now as
if we could stay here while they do the necessary
repairing up above."
'' That's fine," said Oscar. '' You're better off
than I am."
'' I suppose," asked Mr. Randall, *' that no one
is making any inquiries as to how the blaze
started? " There was a twinkle in his eye as he
propounded the query.
" No, I imagine not," replied Oscar with equal
seriousness. " But I guess Carl Woodward could
tell a good deal about it. However, I'm not going
to ask him."
" His carelessness has cost the school a good
deal of money and trouble," said Mr. Randall,
with the air of one stating a fact, — not placing
HE IS TRIED BY FIRE 243
" When I saw him a week ago, he looked like a
fellow who had learned a lesson," commented
" Good! " was the instructor's answer. "And,
by the way, Harris, I have never had a chance to
tell you how much I admired your conduct "
" I beg your pardon, sir," said Oscar precipi-
tately, recognizing the preliminaries to another
eulogy and unwilling to face it. " I had almost
forgotten my engagement over in the office.
Good-bye! " And he rushed off like a dog run-
ning to escape a beating.
Mr. Randall, when he was once more in the
precincts of his library, turned to his wife, who
was peacefully mending socks in front of the fire,
and directed his comments to her. " There's a
boy who has certainly made good here," he said.
" We have plenty of disappointments in my pro-
fession, and there are moments when I am sure
that I personally am getting worse every year as
a trainer of boys; but this Harris is one of our
Like all teachers, Mr. Randall was inclined to
claim the credit when one of the boys in his dormi-
tory did well, and to attribute all the failures to
the "cussedness" of human nature. It is too
244 THE ANDOVER WAY
bad, however, that he could not have heard Oscar
reciting, as he walked back to his room, a stanza
from a poem which he had just learned:
* ' It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the Master of my Fate !
I am the Captain of my Soul ! ' *
He would have been sure, then, that Oscar, the
one-time " freak," had graduated into manhood.
THE HERO REACHES HIS GOAL
When Oscar came back to Andover after his
brief visit at the Manning house in Boston, he
was much disconcerted to find mud and water
everywhere on the campus. He recalled March
and April on the Mediterranean as being delight-
ful months, and he had rather expected the same
conditions in New England. Instead he ran into
a three-days' storm of wind and rain, during most
of which he was glad enough to build up a fire in
HaFs room and sit idly in front of it, making his
plans for the spring. He did, however, wade
through the shallow pools to the Case Memorial,
where he resumed his running practice, finding, to
his satisfaction, that his burns had not affected
him in the slightest. Indeed, it is probable that
the enforced rest was really helpful in keeping
him in the best of condition.
It happened that Steve Fisher, whose home was
in Montana, was also marooned in Andover dur-
ing the vacation, and the two young men became
very well acquainted. Steve, although he was a
246 THE ANDOVER WAY
member of " K. P. N." with Oscar, was the ac-
knowledged leader of the school, and Oscar natu-
rally felt a bit shy at first in talking to him. But
he found Steve so completely free from conceit
or condescension that it was easy to be at home
with him. The two met at first in the Case Me-
morial, where Steve was practising curves and
drops every afternoon, — he was captain of the
nine and its first-string pitcher; later Steve in-
vited Oscar to his room, in Bartlet Hall, where
they discussed affairs of the world, from prohibi-
tion to evolution, settling each in the offhand
manner so characteristic of the younger genera-
A day or two before the vacation was over, the
mud dried up, and it became feasible for Oscar
to get outdoors on the regular cinder track. He
now felt supremely happy, for it seemed as if new
vigor had come to him with the return of warmth
and sunshine. All the unmistakable signs of
spring were at hand. Men with iron prongs on
sticks were prowling stealthily about the campus
picking up the scattered bits of paper and tin-
foil and the countless lost shoe-buckles dropped
during the winter from seven hundred pairs of
" arctics " ; laborers were rolling the playing fields
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 247
and removing the board walks; and here and there
carpenters were making the necessary repairs and
alterations on the buildings. The more enterpris-
ing robins had already appeared, and the buds
were showing on the maple branches. Best of
all, there was a kind of freshness in the air, which
made the blood in young men's veins flow like
the fresh sap in the trees. Oscar could see why
primitive peoples celebrate the Easter season as a
resurrection, — the awakening of the world from
an unprolific slumber.
On the evening when the students returned for
the spring term, the sun went down in gorgeous
colors behind the distant hills, with promise of
pleasant days to come. As the residents of Phil-
lips Hall drove up one by one with their suit-
cases, they greeted Oscar in friendly fashion,
frankly glad to have him one of their number.
Carl Woodward, who had once resented being
chastised by Oscar, now was ready to become his
grateful satellite, and shouted out a joyous, " Hi,
Oscar ! " as he saw him on the terrace. Bull Tay-
lor, who was doubling up with a friend in Bartlet
Hall, was once more on hand, gleeful because he
had received high-enough grades to win a full
scholarship once more. Altogether it was an hi-
248 THE ANDOVER WAY
larious reunion which the inmates of Phillips and
Bartlet Halls had that evening, and Oscar had no
regrets at being no longer in Wendell. As a mat-
ter of fact he soon came to realize that it was
beneficial for him to be thrown more with the
older and stronger men in the senior class. He
was greeted by them as an equal, and he saw that
he could associate with them on even terms. For
this he was devoutly thankful.
It amazed him to see how busy most of these
seniors really were. They rarely indulged in a
rough-house in the dormitory; they were careful
to keep their records free from " cuts " and " de-
merits"; and they worked harder at their
studies than the younger fellows who had been
in Wendell Hall with Oscar. Furthermore, each
man seemed to have some outside activity which
occupied his spare hours, — some form of sport, de-
bating, music, the school papers, or the Society
of Inquiry, — and everybody assumed that every-
body else had something important to do. It was
an atmosphere in which everybody was stimu-
lated to do his best.
I may as well admit the truth at once, — ^al-
though it may not please some of my older read-
ers, — ^and state that Oscar's mind for the next few
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 249
weeks was primarily on his running and the pos-
sibilities of a victory in the coming track meet.
This was his primary avocation, perhaps even for
the moment his vocation. He maintained a sat-
isfactory grade in his studies, it is true, and did
not fail in his recitations; indeed " Charlie " Fos-
ter complimented him more than once on the fa^
cility with which he turned Horace into English
verse. But deep down in his heart Oscar was
aiming at just one thing, — to win the mile run in
the dual meet. His success in the " B. A. A"
relay had given him the right to wear the cov-
eted "A," but he was far from being content with
that achievement. He wanted, perhaps, to prove
to himself that he was an all-round man; he
longed for the prestige which belongs to the victor
in some athletic event; he desired to show that
he was more than just a mere " plugger." But,
whatever the motive, or motives, may have been,
he gave himself body and soul to his work on
On every afternoon, then, Oscar appeared at
two o'clock ready to follow Larry Spear's instruc-
tions. Often he would spend half an hour prac-
tising starts. Sometimes he would jog for a few
minutes and go straight in for a rub-down. The
250 THE ANDOVER WAY
coach would make him run an occasional 440
yards or 880 yards at top speed, with the idea, he
explained, of developing Oscar's endurance and
swiftness. Only once every week did he cover the
full course of a mile. Even then, Larry, although
he had his watch out and was evidently taking
the time, would not tell it to Oscar. This is a
little meanness which many coaches have, — simi-
lar in principle to the policy adopted by many
physicians of refusing to tell a patient his tem-
perature or his blood pressure. Oscar could guess
that he was steadily improving, but he was un-
able to find out from Larry's manner just what
the latter really felt in his heart.
Larry had to warn him repeatedly not to do
too much. " You need to be careful, Harris," he
said, "not to get over-trained. You will learn
through sad experience some day that it's just as
disastrous to be stale as it is to take too little
exercise. There's a happy medium somewhere,
and you've got to discover where it is. I'm glad
that you're so much like a race-horse, but you
must keep yourself under control. Otherwise all
our labor will have been for nothing."
Joe Watson, the hammer-thrower, was captain
of the team, and occasionally used to watch Oscar
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 251
as the latter's long legs went rhythmically around
the track. Joe was not a communicative person.
It was his custom to sit in silence while the more
loquacious Ted Sherman and Hal Manning bab-
bled about the universe. But one day, as Oscar
and he sat in the sun resting for a moment, Joe
turned and said, '* Oscar, can you remember back
to the time when you entered Andover last Sep-
" Yes, of course I do. You mean the morning
when I asked you the way to Wendell Hall? Say,
IVe often thought how kind you were to me that
day! I must have been as raw as a turnip. I'm
not much to boast of now, but I must have looked
to you then like the inmate of some institution
for the feeble-minded."
" You're right! I'm not going to deny it. The
funny part is that Hal Manning and Ted Sher-
man were ready to bet a lot of coin that you would
not stay in school until Christmas. And look at
you now! On the track team, with an 'A,' and
in Hal Manning's crowd, — which is pretty near as
good as my own! And actually rooming with
Hal Manning himself! When you think of it, it's
stranger than fiction."
"Of course most of it is just luck. I know
252 THE ANDOVER WAY
that/' replied Oscar. " But when I think back
and recall what a donkey I was, I wonder how
they ever allowed me to take up space in a dormi-
tory. I suppose that some kindly god protects the
" I guess so, or else I'd never be here, either,"
commented Joe. And he got up lazily to have
another fling with the hammer before going in
for the afternoon.
The first track meet of the season was with the
Harvard Freshmen, who came to Andover late in
April, on a damp, cold day. Oscar, who had never
taken part in a race on a cinder path, was natu-
rally impatient to see what he could do. By this
time it had been settled that he should concen-
trate on the mile. Phil Allen could very well take
care of the quarter, leaving Kid Wing and Oscar
for the longer distance. The half was to be in the
hands of Fritz Allis and Barney Wright, although
Mr. Spear was well aware that, in the Exeter
meet, he should have to use Phil Allen in both
the quarter and the half. Being a highly intelli-
gent coach, however, he was letting Phil run only
the furlong distance for the present, hoping
against hope that some good half-miler might by
a miracle appear.
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 253
In the Freshman meet, Oscar, standing with
Kid Wing and the other veterans at the starting-
line, made up his mind that he would show
Larry what he could do. Getting off slightly
ahead of the others, he resolved to set the pace
for the full distance. He covered the first quarter
at top speed, in not much above sixty seconds, and
saw that he was well to the front. Pleased at his
success, he maintained a stiff pace for the next
two laps, the positions of the Harvard men re-
maining much the same. As he started the last
quarter, he felt rather tired, but resolved to hold
his lead at all costs. Gritting his teeth, he kept
on, but an infallible sixth sense told him that the
others were creeping up on him. He dug in with
all his strength, but his legs were like lead. As
he struggled down the back stretch, one Harvard
man came up to his side, and, in spite of all he
could do, passed him, with a sprint which Oscar
tried in vain to emulate. In the last one hundred
yards Oscar simply " faded." He was completely
" run out.'' When Kid Wing and a second Har-
vard man passed him just before they reached the
tape, he was too much exhausted to do anything
more than stagger across and get his breath as
254 THE ANDOVER WAY
soon as possible. He had come in fourth in a
race which he had started out to win.
That evening in a quiet half -hour in his room,
Larry took Oscar aside for some sound advice.
"See here, Harris," he began, "you ought to
make a clever runner, for you have some intelli-
gence besides a good pair of legs and sound lungs.
But you are not using your brain at all. Now I
let you start in that race without any instructions
whatever simply because I wanted to see what
you would do. You acted just like the typical
greenhorn, — no strategy, no attempt to outguess
the other man. You behaved as if you had no
knowledge of your strength or of the distance
which you were running. Naturally you just ran
yourself out and beat yourself. It was a foolish
plan to follow. You can defeat that Harvard
man in nine races out of ten, but you can't give
him all the face-cards and expect to win the game.
" Won't you tell me what to do next time, Mr.
Spear? I need all the help I can get."
" Perhaps I will, if it seems necessary. What
I'm trying to say now is that you ought to know
yourself and your capabilities thoroughly. There
are some men, of course, whom you can run right
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 255
off their feet; but there are a few, like that Har-
vard fellow to-day, who just love to be paced for
three laps, and who can then come up fresh for
a final sprint and carry off the gold medal."
Oscar did more than listen carefully to Larry's
injunctions; he went back to his room and
thought the problem out. He saw at once that
it would be impossible for him to size up an op-
ponent merely by hastily looking him over. Often
an unpromising physical specimen might be very
dangerous on the track. If he could run against
a man just once, Oscar felt that he could get some
idea of what his psychology would be like. But
the really vital thing for Oscar at that stage was
to study himself, — to learn how to manage him-
self in such a way as to bring out all his speed and
endurance. He recognized that, in every impor-
tant race, there are points at which a runner has
to make a quick decision, — ^whether he shall pass
a weaker rival or let him continue to set the pace,
for instance, — ^but he was sure now that the fun-
damental principle was to get acquainted with his
own strength and weaknesses.
In early May the track squad went to New
Haven to compete against the Yale Freshmen,
and Oscar had his first opportunity of inspecting
256 THE ANDOVER WAY
that college, where he was already entered. Each
team at Andover is allowed one trip away from
the school during the season, always accompanied,
of course, by a teacher. Oscar and his mates were
royally entertained in New Haven, and he met
what seemed to him to be hundreds of old An-
dover men, each of whom seemed a cordial host.
With the former '^ K. P. N." members, he was
soon on intimate terms, and he could appreciate
how important such a society affliation might be-
come. What pleased him most, Ijowever, was the
consciousness that he was treated, not as a
" freak," but as an equal, a person who was en-
tirely sane and normal.
The mile run in an ordinary track meet is the
third running event, coming after the 100-yard
dash and the 120-yard high hurdles. It is sel-
dom possible at that stage of the proceedings to
predict how the scoring is likely to turn out, and
the mile run to the uninformed spectator does
not seem to be a decisive race. But the real track
" fan " keeps what is called a " dope sheet," on
which the probable results are recorded; and an
upset in one event may, to those " on the inside,"
change the whole prospect for one side or the
other. Oscar was well aware that, on the Andover
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 257
" dope sheets," he was scheduled to come in third.
He was not much complimented at this predic-
tion, and wanted to falsify it if he could.
Six of them lined up at the starting point, —
Kid Wing, Oscar, and an untried youngster named
George Westcott, for Andover, the Yale trio be-
ing headed by '' Mac " Smith, an old Andoverian,
about whom Larry had told him a great deal.
When the pistol shot off, Oscar waited to fall in
behind Smith, who, however, was in no hurry.
They started at a fairly slow pace, much slower
than that to which Oscar had been accustomed,
but he had been warned of Smith's tricks and he
resolved not to be outgeneralled. On the second
lap. Kid Wing, usually considered to be a steady
plodder, shot into the lead and quickened the
pace, but even this did not disturb Smith. The
third lap saw the order remaining the same; but,
as the final quarter opened. Smith easily went by
Kid Wing and Oscar followed. This time Oscar
felt fresh and strong, ready for a fast sprint.
Smith speeded up, but Oscar stuck at his heels.
Around the last curve and down the home stretch
they dashed, neck and neck, the others several
yards in the rear. Just before they reached the
tape, Smith put forth an unexpected ounce or
258 THE ANDOVER WAY
two of " drive '' and shot ahead by inches. It
was a glorious race, and the time, — four minutes,
thirty-eight seconds, — was excellent for that point
in the season. It was some consolation to Oscar
that he had performed with intelligence. It was
no disgrace whatever to be defeated by a better
man, — and Smith was better than he.
In the meet with the Dartmouth Freshmen,
Oscar won his race with ease, in four minutes,
forty seconds, but he was not pushed. This, his
first real victory in any track competition, gave
him the confidence of which he was so badly in
need. By this time it had become evident that
he was running better than Kid Wing and that
the Andover hope of success in the mile would
rest on him. Kid was a star in cross-country run-
ning and was later to be an intercollegiate cham-
pion in the two-mile race; but there is no two-
mile event in interscholastic athletics, it being
considered that it is too exhausting for growing
boys. Kid accepted Oscar's progress in the most
generous way, merely saying, " Well, you can beat
me, all right. I admit it. What I'm going to try
to do from this time on is to help you to get first
The so-called Harvard Interscholastics, held in
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 259
Cambridge, gave Oscar a chance to measure his
ability against that of the best runners from other
schools, especially Exeter's star, *' Red " O'Brien,
who had an established reputation, with firsts to
his credit in the two most recent Andover-Exeter
" Oscar," said Larry, as the boy was undressing
for his race, "you must watch this O'Brien.
Study his stride and the system that he follows.
He's the man you've got to beat next Saturday.
I don't care so much what you do this afternoon,
but it's your job to learn all about him so that
you can win from him at Andover."
Oscar found the famous O'Brien to be a rather
short but very stocky lad, with muscular calves
and a vast expanse of chest. His stride was rather
shorter than Oscar's, but he looked as if he could
keep going until Doomsday. His favorite pro-
cedure in the past had been to kill off his op-
ponents one by one by setting a terrific pace at
the start, confident that there would be no one
among them who would be his equal. This
method he tried again at Harvard, but Oscar
stayed close to him for the first half-mile.
O'Brien was manifestly taken aback at seeing this
new Andover athlete, — of whom he had heard
260 THE ANDOVER WAY
nothing since the relay race during the winter, —
right behind him. He slowed down perceptibly
for the third quarter, hoping that Oscar could be
lured into trying a sprint; but the latter had
learned too much to attempt that. Finally, two
hundred yards from the finish, O'Brien leaped
forward into the sprint for which he was so well
known. At the same time, but just a trifle too
slowly, Oscar started. Down the stretch they
swept, Oscar holding his own with the Exeter
man but unable to gain an inch; and so they
crossed the finish line, O'Brien the winner by two
feet. As Oscar regained his breath, he saw his
rival at his side reaching out his hands. '' That's
a bully race you ran, Harris. You gave me the
surprise of my life. I hope that we'll have just
as good a one next week."
" Thanks, O'Brien. You certainly can run,"
said Oscar, still a little winded. " I don't see now
how I stuck to you so long."
" I know," answered O'Brien, " and I'm just a
little afraid of what you may do."
And so, in a spirit of strong but friendly rivalry,
the representatives of the two great schools pre-
pared for the final contest, neither quite sure that
he could defeat the other, but each hopeful.
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 261
During the week preceding the big meet Oscar
felt as if he were dwelling in a rarefied atmosphere.
At the chapel service every morning the students
cheered and applauded each track man as he en-
tered, imtil the building fairly quivered with the
timiult. Pedants may denounce competition in
athletics as placing the emphasis on the wrong
things, but all men who are young in body or
spirit are bound to admire physical prowess. To
Oscar there was something in the approbation of
his fellows that was very sweet, and their ap-
proval gave him the confidence which he needed.
Even the tiniest " prep " had his carefully pre-
pared " dope sheet," on which the events were
tabulated, with an assignment of points to each
school on the basis of past performance. During
the Sunday sermon Oscar was amused to find one
neighbor, Tom Hayden, working out a prediction
in the back of his hymn book, and another mak-
ing a drawing of Joe Watson hurling the hammer
an unprecedented distance. No one who has
never been near a great American school before
an important contest can realize how intense the
feeling is and how anxiously the undergraduates
await the outcome.
On Thursday afternoon the school in a body
262 THE ANDOVER WAY
marched to Brothers' Field, carrying blue mega-
phones ornamented with white ''A's/' and cheered
the track squad. On Friday evening the custom-
ary mass meeting was held in the Gymnasium,
— Bi noisy gathering, at which school spirit ran
high and the smaller boys bellowed themselves
hoarse. Fletcher, '08, the author of those stir-
ring songs, " Fighting for Old P. A.! " and "An-
dover Royal Blue! '' came out from Boston just
to play them on the piano and lead the crowd in
the singing. " Charlie " Foster, Shep, Larry
Spear, and the Head all made brief speeches, tell-
ing a funny story or two and urging everybody to
cheer the team on to victory. At intervals there
would be a staccato chant, "We want Georgy!
We want Georgy! " as the mob demanded some
old favorite; and the popular teacher, escorted
by two sturdy cheer-leaders, would march to the
platform between walls of yelling undergraduates.
The scene was so picturesque that alumni often
came from a distance just to get once more in
touch with the school which they had known, and
renew the joyful feeling of other days.
At the football mass-meeting in the fall Oscar
had been very little stirred, but had shouted in a
routine and phlegmatic way, his only desire being
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 263
to avoid criticism. Now he sat quietly in the gal-
lery and listened while the boys gave cheer after
cheer, one of them ending with his own name,
" Harris! Harris! Harris! " Then, at the order
of Coach Shepley, he walked slowly to his room,
read a humorous novel by P. G. Wodehouse, and
went to bed. Of course he tried to sleep, but it
was difficult. He counted sheep jumping over a
fence; he played an imaginary golf course, hol-
ing out impossible shots for "birdies" and
" eagles " ; he recited Alfred Noyes's poem, The
Barrel Organ, which he had learned some weeks
before when that poet visited Andover; and then,
just as he was about to despair, came oblivion.
When he awoke at seven o'clock, he could see
the sunlight gleaming on the dew-covered grass
and was glad to know that the track would be dry.
Of course he was excited. It would be ridiculous
to deny it. But, in spite of his rapid heart action,
he tried by an effort of the will to conserve energy
and keep himself under control. At breakfast and
chapel dozens of friends wished him success until
he was weary of mumbling the conventional
" Thanks! " He sat through his two classes in a
state of anesthesia, his instructors being kind
enough not to call on him, — even teachers have
264 THE ANDOVER WAY
a human side. All that Oscar could think of while
Mr. Loring was reciting:
''The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark, ' '
was about the kind of a stride that Red O'Brien
would take that afternoon as he dashed away
from the starting-line. " It'll be more than one
stride," thought Oscar whimsically to himself;
but just then the bell rang for the close of the
hour, and he was free. He had a light lunch at
eleven-thirty, after which he lay down in his room
for an hour. At last, at one-thirty, he was al-
lowed to go to the Gymnasium and don his run-
ning clothes. Once in these, with a light sweater
over his chest, he felt calmer in his mind. The
moment of supreme trial was at hand.
Stretched out on the grass in the hot glow of
the sun, Oscar idly watched the spectators taking
their places in the stands, — pretty girls with col-
ored gowns, middle-aged graduates in linen knick-
erbockers and gay golf stockings, and then the
Exeter student body marching in column of fours
and reciting the monotonous " E-X-E-T-E-R " in
slow unison, giving each separate letter full stress.
The Andover undergraduates followed through
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 265
another gateway, headed by a military band and
a spreading blue banner carried by stalwart arms.
When these two groups were seated, the benches
looked like one conglomerate mass of red and blue
and yellow and white, as if the elements of the
spectrum had been scattered there by some care-
less god. Oscar saw the cheer-leaders hold a con-
sultation and then begin their strange dance in
front of the bleachers, like priests of some Poly-
nesian religion carrying on their barbaric rites,
their arms waving simultaneously in the air.
Then came the crash and echo of the cheers. The
home school gave a " long Andover " for its op-
ponents, and Exeter returned the compliment.
This interchange of amenities was followed by a
medley of cheers, in which a variety of person-
ages were honored, — the coaches, the captains, and
the athletes, — until there was a lull, explicable by
the fact that the hundred-yard dash was about
As Oscar listened to the organized cheering from
the stands, he went over the situation in his mind,
as he had discussed it with Shep on the previous
afternoon. Those most fully informed admitted
that the meet was bound to be very close and
that a second or third place won unexpectedly by
266 THE ANDOVER WAY
either school might decide the result. For the
moment we are interested primarily in the mile
run. Two of Exeter's entries, Red O'Brien and
Fred Jones, were conceded to be superior to any
Andover runner except Oscar. Kid Wing was not
at his best in the mile, and, although he was plan-
ning to run, it was not anticipated that he would
win a point. George Westcott had no function
except to swell the number of entries and to ac-
quire experience for another season, Oscar was
Andover's only hope, — and the newspapers on
the evening before had been unanimous in their
conclusion that the odds were in favor of Red
O'Brien, the veteran of many contests.
Points in the Andover-Exeter meet are awarded
five to first place, three to second, and one to third.
If Oscar could take first place, it would be a nota-
ble triumph for his school, even though Exeter
did secure the other four points. On the other
hand, if Oscar ^were driven back to second or third
and scored only a meagre one or three points, the
New Hampshire " rooters " would feel that they
had gained a decisive advantage. Conscious of
these possibilities, Oscar knew that the crowd
would have their eyes on him from the start. It
might be that he could win or lose the meet.
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 267
In the hundred-yard dash Exeter had taken
the two first places, and the figures chalked up on
the score board were 8-1. In the high hurdles,
however, Len Whitney, Andover's star, justified
expectations by coming in far ahead of any com-
petitor. Presently Oscar heard the call for the
mile, and stood up, rubbing his legs to limber up
the muscles. As he reached the starting point, he
met Red O'Brien, who shook hands with him
*' Well, Harris, this ought to be a good race for
us. We'll have a real fight to-day. This is my
last for Exeter, you know.''
" Same for me here at Andover," replied Oscar.
" I graduate this June, too. I sure am going to
work hard to beat you, O'Brien."
"Go to it! " was O'Brien's comment. From
that moment the contest was on.
The six men lined up across the track and dug
little holes in the cinders for their toes. O'Brien
drew the pole position, and the hordes from Ex-
eter shouted wildly at this supposed advantage.
Oscar took the next place, and the others alter-
nated along the line. There was a moment's
pause while the starter delivered his instructions,
warning them not to crowd on the first turn and
268 THE ANDOVER WAY
not to cut in towards the pole without being a
full stride ahead. Then there was quiet! " Get
ready! Get on your marks! Get set! Bang!"
They were off, with an Exeter man, Fred Jones,
in the lead, followed by Red O'Brien and Oscar,
the other three trailing. Jones had been coached
to set a brisk pace for the first quarter, but Oscar
did not object so long as Red O'Brien was going
at the same gait. They were maintaining the
same relative positions as they swept by the
stands once more; and Larry Spear noted, with a
glance at his watch, that they had covered the
first quarter in sixty-five seconds, — fast time for
As the second lap began, Jones slowed down
and Red shot past him, followed, of course, by
Oscar. It was quite obvious that Jones had done
his part and would content himself by making
sure of third. At the end of the lap, O'Brien and
Oscar were still going strong, but the others were
slowly dropping behind, poor Kid Wing, who was
out of condition, falling to the rear. The third
quarter was noticeably slower, both Oscar and
Red husbanding their strength for the finish. As
they came by the stands once more, the pistol
rang out indicating that there was but one more
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 269
lap, and the Andover "rooters" yelled franti-
cally, " Go it, Harris! " " Beat that red-head! "
and " You're the baby, Oscar ! "
It would not be exact to say that Oscar was
fresh at this point. His breath was coming hard
and he was tired, but he knew his capabilities
and felt good for the final struggle. He had a
feeling, moreover, that O'Brien, in taking the pace
for two laps, had worn himself out just a little.
Down the back stretch, therefore, he began his
sprint, rather earlier than O'Brien had antici-
pated. With a bound Oscar was by Red's side,
and they went along neck and neck in a mag-
nificent contest for supremacy. As they reached
the curve, it was difficult for the spectators to see
who was leading; but those at the western end
of the bleachers could note that, as they came into
the last straightaway, Oscar was ahead by inches.
Down they came, each man with muscles tense,
teeth clenched, fists tight, swinging his arms to
secure more power for his leg drive, — each with
desperation on his face, giving every last ounce
For a second it seemed as if O'Brien were
drawing up, but Oscar, with a superb last effort,
drove his weary body forward by sheer force of
270 THE ANDOVER WAY
will and broke the tape a foot in front of his gal-
lant Exeter rival!
The mass of humanity on the Andover benches
rose as a single unit, waving arms, yelling rau-
cously, and hurling hats into the air. The band,
inspired by the occasion, burst automatically into
"Old P. A." Oscar himself was supported by
strong arms, from which he had to fight to free
himself. He felt as if a million people were slap-
ping him on the back and crying " Bully for you,
Oscar! " In a few seconds, however, he regained
his breath and straightened up just in time to re-
ceive the congratulations of his late foe, Red
" You fairly ran me off my feet, Harris," said
the chivalrous Exeter veteran, between gasps.
" But it was a good race. I wonder what the time
They listened as the announcer bellowed
through his gigantic megaphone: " Results of the
one mile run. Won by Number 36, Harris, of
Andover; second, Number 77, O'Brien, of Exeter;
third, Number 21, Jones, of Exeter. Time, four
minutes, thirty-five and two-fifths seconds." It
was the fastest time Oscar had ever made offi-
cially, and it was within two seconds of the dual
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 271
meet record, set thirty years before by an An-
dover athlete, William T. Laing.
Oscar was glad enough to jog off to the Gym-
nasium without waiting for the remaining events.
From time to time, however, some one brought
him news of what was going on: how Len Whitney
broke the world's interscholastic record in the low
hurdles, how Exeter's captain, " Si " Beeson, took
first in the high jump, and how Phil Allen justi-
fied the hopes of his admirers by winning the
quarter- mile. The meet, as he could readily see
in checking up the points, was very close. And
then, as he was putting on his street clothes after
a rubdown and a plunge in the pool, he heard a
confusion of voices, and learned that " Spider "
Drummond, a rank outsider, had, in a last tre-
mendous effort, excelled all his previous perform-
ances in the shot-put by three feet, thus taking
second place in that event and winning the meet
It was impossible for Oscar to escape from the
intrusion of admiring but inconsiderate friends,
and for a few moments he could not get into the
open air. Before long, however, Larry Spear came
along and led him out of the crowd. " Let's get
away from this," he said. " I know exactly how
272 THE ANDOVER WAY
you feel, Oscar, because IVe been there myself
so many times. You want to be by yourself,
don't you? "
"I like to have you around, Larry," replied
Oscar, who was by this time on intimate terms
with the coach. " But I certainly do hate to have
a hundred men whom I hardly know praising me
just because I happen to be a good athlete. Most
of them wouldn't have spoken to me six months
"That's life, Oscar. You'll learn that lesson
quickly. But what I want to say now is that you
ran a bully race. I never saw a better one. You
used your head like an old-timer. Great work for
a man so new to it I "
" Much obliged for those kind words," answered
Oscar, visibly pleased. " I'm glad I won. I cer-
tainly worked hard enough. You'll bear witness
" There isn't a man on that team who deserves
a victory more than you do," went on Larry.
" Some day, if you keep on, you'll be running in
"Wouldn't that astonish my mother! She
used to be alarmed if I took a walk more than a
mile long. But just now I feel as if I never
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 278
wanted to put on running-shoes again. I sup-
pose I'll get over that attitude? "
" Oh, yes, it'll be different to-morrow morning,
just as soon as you have a respite from the ex-
citement. And next spring you'll be all on edge
to feel the cinders under your feet once more."
As Larry and Oscar emerged from the Gymnar
slum by a side door, they could hear the bells in
the Memorial Tower ringing out their joyful
peals, and the people were strolling away from
the playing fields, some in exultation, others in
despondency, depending on the school with which
they were affiliated. Oscar slipped back of the
Dining Hall by a circuitous route to Phillips Hall,
where he stole up to his room without attracting
attention. Here he sat down at his window for a
rest, having been careful to lock the door against
intruders. He took out the little box containing
the gold medal which he had won and which had
been placed in his hand as he ran by one of the
judges. As he read its wording and studied the
design on the face, he could not help wondering, —
for he was instinctively a philosopher, — whether
the reward was worth the hours and hours of hard
labor which he had undergone to gain it. Like
many a man who achieves his goal, he questioned
274 THE ANDOVER WAY
the importance of what he had accomplished.
And then he felt of his leg muscles, as firm and
hard as iron; he took a deep breath and rejoiced
at the gain in health which he had made since he
entered Andover eight months before; and he
thought, in addition, of how much he had devel-
oped in the ability to measure his powers against
those of his comrades. " Yes," he said to him-
self, as he looked again at the shining medal. " It
may not be very valuable in itself, but it was
worth all the trouble. It stands for my first real
At the football victory celebration in the fall,
Oscar had been just a commonplace "prep,"
grateful for the privilege of helping to pull the
barge and of having his famous blue silk pajamas
torn into shreds in front of the bonfire. Now he
was, by a miraculous transformation, a school
hero, whose car lesser men would draw. As he
climbed into the ancient vehicle in front of the
Gymnasium and rode off with Joe Watson and
the other members of the team, he could not help
smiling to think that he and the great Joe were
jouncing along side by side on what, for a throne
of glory, was undoubtedly a very hard and bumpy
seat. His grin grew broader as he caught occa-
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 275
sional glimpses of Steve Fisher and Hal Manning
leading cheers in his honor. With the indefati-
gable band in front, followed by the barge, —
drawn by " preps " like Oscar, — ^and the students,
the procession marched off down Main Street,
looking like a chapter of some secret society, —
for the boys were all clothed in night apparel and
each one was waving a kerosene torch. A long
line of automobiles was held back by the police
as the parade got under way. Down the broad
paved highway it went, the students prancing up
and down in a zigzag movement from side to side.
Turning into School Street, the leaders halted at
Abbot Academy to give cheers for the young
ladies of that institution, — the " Fem Sem,'' as it
has been called for nearly a century. Then cross-
ing over and taking a route up Bartlet Street, they
stopped at the house of the Head, where that
gentleman appeared in response to the cries of
the boys. Standing on his piazza and looking
out over the sea of waving lights, he spoke some-
what as follows:
" Fellows, there's one thing about this meet of
which we should all be proud. Some of our old-
time athletes, like Phil Allen and Joe Watson, did
brilliantly; but the really marvellous factor is the
276 THE ANDOVER WAY
achievement of such inexperienced performers as
Harris and Drimimond, who are new men in this
kind of sport. I happen to know that neither one
of them had ever been in a track suit before this
year; yet they displayed the coohiess and the re-
sourcefuhiess of veterans. So long as we can
have spirit like that in Andover, we shall not be
ashamed of any comparison with the 'good old
After visits to the houses of two faculty mem-
bers, who told old stories and were warmly
greeted, the procession arrived at the old campus,
where an enormous pile of miscellaneous com-
bustibles had been assembled. Here the crowd
gathered around the barge and called upon each
member of the team. Oscar, sitting nervously
through remarks by the two coaches and the cap-
tain, finally heard the cry, "We want Harris!
We want Harris ! " and was raised up by his com-
panions to the cross-bench. There he faced the
turbulent mob, a little flustered but undeniably
more fluent than those who had preceded him.
This is what he said :
"Fellows, the only other time I ever made a
speech like this was last September, when I was
being hazed as a ' prep,' and, every time I opened
HE REACHES HIS GOAL 277
my mouth, some one pasted me in the rear with a
barrel-stave. I'm glad that that won't happen
again to-night, because this is the first and only
time that I can appear on an occasion of this sort.
I just want to say that there's nobody on the squad
happier than I am. When I came here, I was a
poor feeble thing, with hardly enough sense to
come in out of the rain. I am probably not much
more sensible now, but I am a trifle stronger, —
thanks to * Doc ' Rogers, Shep, and Larry Spear.
All I want to say is that this school is the greatest
place on earth, and that I'm proud to be con-
nected with it."
One by one the remaining members of the
team made their brief remarks, — some of them
very brief, like Spider Drummond's, " Gee, fel-
lows, I sure am a happy butterfly to-night." The
flames, which had leaped high only fifteen min-
utes before, were now sinking, and the boisterous-
ness of the participants was less noticeable. Here
and there a tired " prep " was slipping off to his
room, glad to hunt his bed after an exciting day.
A few dauntless spirits gave a last long cheer for
"Team," and the athletes got down from their
perches, glad to stretch their legs again. Oscar
went with Hal Manning, who was near at hand,
278 THE ANDOVER WAY
across Main Street and up the gravel path to-
wards the Main Building. A full moon was ris-
ing over the tower above the portico, and there
were lights everywhere around the great quad-
rangle. Before they entered Phillips Hall, Oscar
turned for one more look at the spectacle. " Say,
Hal, it's good to be alive on a night like this! "
he said. He was beginning to realize what life
has to offer to those who have something to give
THE HERO AMAZES HIS MOTHER
On the Sunday morning after the Exeter meet
it seemed to Oscar as if he wanted to slumber for
weeks and weeks. He had been going through a
prolonged period of nervous strain, and the reac-
tion had arrived. Although he awoke at nine
o'clock, he was disinclined to get up; so he lay-
there in bed in a state of reverie until Hal Man-
ning, carrying a bundle of Boston newspapers
under his arm, rushed in noisily and pulled him
out on to the floor. There was a vigorous wres-
tling match for a minute or two, and then Oscar,
very much awake, sat down to look at the sporting
pages. There were the headlines: HARRIS
OF ANDOVER BEATS O'BRIEN IN SPEC-
TACULAR RACE; HARRIS AND DRUM-
MOND BRING VICTORY TO BLUE; HAR-
RIS'S DEFEAT OF O'BRIEN FEATURE OF
CLOSE MEET. Two of the papers had photo-
graphs of the finish of the mile, showing Oscar
with a face which he could not recognize as his
280 THE ANDOVER WAY
own, so contorted and vicious were the features;
and one actually had a full-length picture of him
in track costume, with the legend underneath,
HARRIS, ANDOVER'S FIGHTING MILER.
It was with unaffected delight that he read the
detailed accounts of the event, with the tributes
to his " fighting spirit," his " grim determination,"
and his " unexpected display of strength." After
two or three of these eulogies, Oscar got up and
walked around to make sure that he was not liv-
ing in a dream. Only a few months before he had
been the butt of the school; now he was one of the
best-known Andoverians. It was a case of what
his Latin teacher would have called the mobile
vulgus, the fickle populace. And yet Oscar knew
that the real transformation had been, not in the
crowd, but in himself.
In the evening Oscar had been invited to Pro-
fessor Foster's for Sunday-night supper, — a treat
to which he always looked forward with keen an-
ticipation, for the Fosters, as we have said, were
famous for their hospitality. He walked out after
vespers with Steve Fisher, Joe Watson, and Hal
Manning; and they found there Mr. and Mrs.
Loring, together with two well-known alumni of
twenty-five years back, whom Professor Foster
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 281
addressed as Tom Gordon and Al Mason. There
was, of course, a good deal of talk about the meet,
during which Oscar and Joe sat very much
abashed, overwhelmed by the praise bestowed
upon them; but, after a delightful dinner, the men
gathered in the library and the conversation
turned to bygone days. The teachers and the old
graduates vied with one another in telling stories
about things as they used to be.
Over the cigars and the coffee some one brought
up the subject of practical jokes, particularly as
played by one member of the faculty upon his
colleagues. Professor Foster related several an-
ecdotes about Mr. Lapham, — familiarly known as
" Jimmy," — the Instructor in Chemistry, now se-
dately middle-aged, but twenty-five years before
an incorrigible jester. It was he who, when the
editors of the school year-book asked for an ac-
count of his previous history, wrote a biography
describing his early marriage and subsequent be-
reavement in such a moving style that the ladies
of the community were ready to weep with the
desolated widower; and not until several years
later was the fact brought out that he was still a
bachelor and that all the tears had been shed
without any real cause. It was he who on one
282 THE ANDOVER WAY
Christmas Day sent his most intimate friend and
colleague, ^'Andy '' Goodwin, a canary in a cage,
and received in reply the telegram, " It's a bird! "
Andy, in retaliation, borrowed a little negro
pickaninny from the family of one of the chamber-
maids at the Inn and put it in Jimmy's bed one
afternoon, just before the latter came back from
his class, with the inscription on a card, '* I win,
Jimmy. Mine's a blackbird ! ''
It was Jimmy who was the hero of an exploit
which was long talked about on Andover Hill.
Mrs. Anderson, the wife of one of the older teach-
ers, was called upon to prepare a paper for the
local Missionary Society on " The Religions of
China." Knowing nothing whatever about this
perplexing subject, she appealed to Mr. Lapham,
— and not in vain. After three or four days,
Jimmy appeared at the Anderson home and pre-
sented to the lady of the household a typewritten
manuscript, which, he said, she was at liberty to
use if she wished to do so. Accordingly, at the
meeting, Mrs. Anderson read the essay, which
began as follows:
" Chinese religions are of three kinds, each dif-
fering in a marked degree from the others, — the
inductive, the deductive, and the conductive."
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 288
In spite of this astounding sentence and of the
fact that Jimmy had created a complete hierarchy
of hitherto unknown gods and goddesses, many
of them anagrams on the names of his friends, the
article was taken seriously by the Missionary So-
ciety, discussed at some length, and given the
approbation of the members.
Occasionally Jimmy and Andy, tired of playing
jokes on each other, would combine, with disas-
trous results to the victim against whom they di-
rected their schemes. In the old days before the
installing of a steam-heating plant, each room was
warmed by a stove of the air-tight variety, stand-
ing at least three feet high. Once another bache-
lor teacher, Mr. Barrett, went to a house in town
to make a call. In his absence, his two associates
took down his stove, brought in a little new one
of the toy variety, and left the room otherwise as
it was. When Barrett returned, he could hardly
believe his eyes. His own familiar stove had been
replaced by a piece of heating apparatus abso-
lutely different, — and all in an hour's time.
Oscar, who had never thought of his teachers as
human beings, sat enthralled by these tales of the
frailties and follies of these great men. He was
sure that his respect for them would be increased.
284 THE ANDOVER WAY
now that he knew that they were not above the
ordinary emotions of mankind.
"It's queer, isn't it," said Al Mason, "that
joking of that sort has practically died out? "
" But it hasn't gone altogether, sir," put in
Steve Fisher, who had been listening attentively.
" It still goes on here. Haven't you heard of the
fun that Shep, Larry Spear, and Roscoe Dale have
" No, go ahead with the story," said Professor
Foster. And so Steve spun his yarn. It seems
that Roscoe Dale, one of the popular unmarried
instructors, had a Ford runabout, which he parked
behind his dormitory. Shep and Larry used occa-
sionally to remove the seat and hide it, or take off
a rear wheel, or unscrew the spark-plugs, and Ros-
coe had his own means of getting even. One
evening, however, when Shep and Larry were in
Roscoe's room, looking out at the lonely Ford,
Shep said to Larry, "You go out and jack up
Dale's car, and I'll keep him here talking with
him. Take off the two front wheels and let the
old boat down to the ground. He'll certainly be
surprised." Larry accordingly went out and pro-
ceeded to begin his task of dismantling the ma-
chine. While he was in the very midst of the
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 285
operation, however, Shep decided that it would be
amusing to turn traitor. Accordingly he drew
Dale to the window and pointed out to him the
obscure figure who was evidently at some nefari-
ous business. " I'll bet that that's the fellow who
is always monkeying with your car," he said to
Roscoe; and the latter was out the door and on
the run for his machine within two seconds. As
he drew nearer, he could see some one working at
the front wheel, and, thinking it to be a student,
he shouted, " Get out of there! " This gave
Larry time enough to straighten up and see Ros-
coe approaching. He turned and fled at top
speed, with Roscoe after him, yelling to him to
stop. Then was presented the interesting spec-
tacle of Roscoe pursuing in the gathering darkness
a former Olympic champion in the distance runs.
It was especially humorous to Shep, who, as the
wicked author of this plan, was watching the sight
from the window, tears of laughter rolling down
his cheeks. The end was not yet, however, for
just as Larry reached the road near the Infirmary,
he slipped in the mud and fell; and in a few sec-
onds Roscoe, bursting with rage, was upon him,
clutching him by the throat. As Larry turned
over, Roscoe saw his face, and comprehension
286 THE AXDOVER WAY
came to him. " You son of a gun! " said Roscoe,
as he let Larry up. " So that was you all the
" How did you find me out? '* asked Larry, try-
ing to brush off his muddy trousers.
" Shep showed you to me," replied Roscoe.
And then an expression of understanding came
over Larry's face. He had been betrayed by his
supposed ally. Within the next few days Larry
formed with Roscoe an alliance against Shep
which resulted, — but that, said Steve, in the
words of Kipling, is another story!
" Speaking of good jokes," said Tom Gordon,
" I remember perfectly the time when a fellow
named ' Ozzy ' Webster went to sleep in class. It
was in Andy Goodwin's History recitation, and,
towards the end of the hour on a day when the
room was rather warm, Ozzy fell into a peaceful
slumber on the back seat. Andy noticed what
had happened and motioned to the fellows to go
out as quietly as possible. Meanwhile he went
to the door and asked the newcomers in the next
division to enter on tiptoe. Everything was ab-
solutely silent, and the plan worked like a charm.
The men in the following class all got seated, and
then Andy went ahead with the recitation as if
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 287
nothing had occurred. Pretty soon Ozzy woke up
with a start and looked around him. He was ex-
actly like Rip Van Winkle, coming to life in a new
and strange country. Dazed and perplexed, he
straightened up, and then the fellows, who had
been waiting expectantly, gave him a loud laugh.
He took one more glance and then fled. You may
be sure that he never heard the last of it."
" I suppose that you don't have * goat ' in-
structors any longer, do you? " inquired Al Mason,
turning to the undergraduates, who were listening
with both ears open.
" Yes, we've had one or two," answered Steve,
who had been in Andover three years. " I re-
member when I was a ' prep ' that one of the
boys threw a lot of papers and shavings into a
desk in Pearson Hall and then tossed a match
into them. Smoke began to come out the ink-
well hole, and the teacher, who was just a young
fellow a year out of college, hadn't any idea what
to do. Of course the men made a terrible noise
and pretended that they were frightened, and two
or three gave good imitations of fainting, — they
had a real scare the next day when the Head gave
them a lecture ! "
" Don't you remember ' Doggy ' Morris? "
288 THE AXDOVER WAY
added Hal Manning. " He used to have a section
in Mechanical Drawing, and Ted Sherman used
to nail his instruments to the table so that, when
he tried to pick one of them up, it stuck fast. It
occupied him ten minutes every morning to get
his tools loose, and yet he actually never com-
plained one word about it. Afraid to protest, I
''It sounds to me as if discipline must be better
than it was in my day," commented Al Mason.
" There's nothing very serious about what you
have told, and a teacher who can't keep order bet-
ter than that deserves to be made a butt. In the
period when Tom Gordon and I were here, there
was always some inexperienced cub who had no
idea how to handle his classes. I can recall
clearly the time when the Head, — who was just a
young fellow himself then, — had to come into an
English classroom because the noise there was
shaking the building."
" The fellows nowadays are mighty well be-
haved," said Professor Foster. *' There's almost
never any trouble with the seniors. They have
passed the silly stage, and unless a teacher is
wholly incompetent, they sit quiet, even when
they are bored. Do you know, Tom, I really be-
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 289
lieve that things have improved since you were
" I hate to admit it," answered Tom, " but I
think that it's so. IVe been doing a little sleuth
work since I arrived yesterday, and I'm convinced
that these boys here now are a finer type than the
crowd I knew in my day. With these young
chaps here with us, I'm a little restricted, for I
don't want my past exposed to their ridicule.
But Fisher and the others won't mind being told
the truth. Will you, boys? "
" We're so accustomed to being told that we're
corrupt and degenerate and immoral that it's a
pleasure to have any older man say that he has
confidence in us," said Steve, who naturally took
the position of spokesman for the group. " We
don't think we're so bad ourselves. But a lot of
the ministers who come here have been reading
books like The Plastic Age and This Side of
Paradise, and they are convinced that school and
college are dens of iniquity. Only last week a
minister stood up and told us that our generation
was perverse and wicked. I should like to know
really what our fathers were like when they were
here at Andover."
"Much worse than you are, my son," said
290 THE AXDOVER WAY
Charlie Foster genially. " IVe been at Andover
for a good many years, and I can tell you that
things are vastly better than they were thirty
years ago. We get some fairly dull boys here
now, but nothing to what we used to have then.
Why, when I first came here to teach, — I won't
say how far back, — there sat on the bench in front
of me two men, both older than I. They were
both football players, — ' Pete ' Vaughan and
' Pat ' Dorsey. Pete was at least sLx feet, four
inches tall, and had arms that reached to his
knees. Pat was chunky and stolid, as strong as a
bull. Either one could have reached over the
desk and pulled me out of my chair with one arm.
Neither, however, had the brains of a baby rabbit,
and, try as we might, we couldn't get them
through the lowest class, — and both were old
enough to vote. They played on the eleven for
one year, made wonderful records as athletes, and
then had to go. We don't get that kind now, I'm
glad to say."
" You're right," said Mr. Loring. who had
hitherto said very little. " Perhaps we have less
rugged manhood than we did then, but there are
fewer stupid dolts. I should say that the fellows
now are more intelligent and less picturesque.
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 291
Can't you remember Pink Sheldon, who went to
call so often on a young lady in the town? The
family disliked him, the girl hated to see him, and
they resorted to every kind of subterfuge to keep
him away. He was put on probation, but he
would call then between seven and eight, or on
Sunday afternoon. No matter what kind of a
hint was given him, he would bob up serenely the
next day. Finally the faculty had to ' fire ' him
in order to relieve the poor girl from the annoy-
" Mr. Loring," said Oscar, who now spoke for
the first time, " that fellow had nothing on me.
I was the stupidest fellow that ever entered
" Oh, no, no," protested Professor Foster, in his
function as host. "You weren't stupid. You
were ignorant. There's a great difference. And
when you had a chance to learn, you made rapid
Somehow the topic of athletics was brought up,
and Mr. Loring described some of the famous
faculty baseball games, in one of which a scholarly
teacher, having accidentally knocked a fair ball,
promptly ran to third, intending to go around
the bases in reverse order. Al Mason told of the
292 THE ANDOVER WAY
class baseball contests in his time, which degen-
erated almost into mortal combats. When one
team was in the field, the other had small cannon
near first and third, which were discharged at
intervals to rattle the pitcher. Once a travelling
German band was introduced to swell the tmnult,
and the rash musicians barely escaped with their
lives. It was not unusual for a game to last from
two o'clock until dark, when the players left the
field, their faces streaked with blood and their
uniforms bespattered with dirt.
The subject of cleanness in athletics inevitably
led to other comparisons between yesterday and
to-day. " We probably had stronger teams in
the '90's than we have now," said Professor Fos-
ter, " but there weren't so many restrictions. We
used to have full-grown men on our elevens then.
I remember once when we were playing another
academy that a small boy, six or seven years old
at least, ran up and down the sidelines shouting to
the fullback on the opposing team, ' Go it, Daddy,
go it! ' That could never happen to-day. One
of the greatest American football players went
to * prep ' school when he was twenty-five! "
" Why, in my time," said Tom Gordon, " there
wasn't always friendly feeling between the schools.
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 293
There was a period of three years when Andover
and Exeter broke off relations, wasn't there? ''
" Yes, and there was one actual free-for-all fight
in the Exeter station. It's a fact that an Andover
teacher, Professor Hoy, stepped in and did some
slugging himself to break it up."
"That's funny," said Oscar, thoughtfully.
" Nowadays we're always on the best of terms.
And when Andover and Exeter men go to college,
they stand together."
" That's what I've been trying to say," said Al
Mason. " They're a better lot than we were, and
people ought to stop criticising them. It's a great
school, and the boys in it, take them as a whole,
are all right. I watched them in the society house
and heard them talk when they didn't dream that
any one was listening, — and they'll do. What we
middle-aged men want to do is to remember that
we ourselves had warm blood in our veins once.
God help this poor old world if it ever gets hard-
ening of the arteries! "
" We do seem pretty venerable, I imagine," said
Charlie Foster. " Last summer I was talking with
a little fellow about six or seven about Andover.
He asked me about its history, and I explained
that it was founded during the Revolutionary
294 THE ANDOVER WAY
War. ' Gee! ' said the boy, with his eyes pop-
ping out of his head, ' and you've been there all
the time since then, haven't you, Uncle Charlie? '
That shows what the young really think of us."
" It's the heart that counts, not the body," said
Mr. Loring. "And you'll always be young in
" With which complimentary remark we might
as well join the ladies," said Professor Foster.
And the talk when they reached the drawing-
room took another turn. The men had had their
Conversations like these helped to tell Oscar
something of the history of Andover, and he
bought a book which sketched its foundation and
early development. It rather pleased him to
think that the school, — his school, — dated back to
the days when Washington was keeping up the
courage of his half-starved troops at Valley Forge,
when our national government was in the making.
Like most boys, he was a conservative in tempera-
ment, and he was glad that the academy main-
tained its ancient traditions. His one deep re-
gret, as he drew nearer his graduation, was that
he had not been sent to Andover for the full
course. Just as he was beginning to appreciate
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 295
its influence, he would have to leave it. There
were moments when the thought of departure
made him feel depressed.
Meanwhile the spring term hastened to a close.
For a week after the track meet, everything cen-
tered around baseball. Nobody talked any longer
about what Oscar and Len Whitney had don^ on
the previous Saturday; the students were busy
speculating what Steve Fisher would be able to
do in the pitcher's box and how many hits Bill
Jones would make. Oscar went with the school
to Exeter, sitting on the way up in the train just
across the aisle from Steve Fisher and his father,
the Reverend James Fisher, and taking a keen
delight in the tales which the latter, who had
played on the nine in 1883, had to relate. The
game turned out to be the most hair-raising ever
held between the two schools. Again and again it
seemed as if Exeter were getting the upper hand.
The Andover team was undoubtedly over-confi-
dent, and this attitude is always dangerous in an
Andover-Exeter contest. But Steve Fisher was
cool in tight places, and in the last inning, with
the score a tie, and with two men out, Van Jack-
son, Andover's catcher, knocked a grounder to the
left of first base, bringing in Dave Williams from
296 THE ANDOVER WAY
second. The game was won by a score of six to
It had indeed been a glorious year, — ^an " annus
mirabilis/' Professor Foster called it, — with vic-
tories for Andover in three major sports. The
boys did their best at the celebration, but there
were evidences that they were satiated with suc-
cess. Oscar took part in the parade, all the time
wondering whether it were really true that just a
week before he had sat in the barge and had been
drawn about the streets as Steve Fisher was be-
ing drawn now. He stood on the edge of the
crowd with Bull Taylor, watching the huge fire
flame up and listened to the speeches and the tired
" I wonder whether college can possibly be as
good as this! " he said to Bull.
" I don't know," answered Bull, " and I may
never get a chance to find out. But if it can beat
this, it must be wonderful! "
Mrs. Harris, who had spent the winter in
Egypt and the spring at Mentone, felt obliged to
come to the United States for her son's gradua-
tion, and had, therefore, sailed early in June from
Cherbourg, on a liner which landed in Boston.
Oscar^ whose scholastic record was creditable,
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 297
found no difficulty in persuading the Head to al-
low him to meet her on the dock. After wander-
ing rather helplessly along the water-front, he
finally ascertained where the Scythia was to land
and waited patiently for some hours until the
vessel discharged her passengers.
Meanwhile Mrs. Harris had gazed from the
upper deck with longing eyes at the shore, hoping
to have a glimpse of her child, — but she could see
no one who resembled him. Clearly, she thought,
he had been unable to obtain the necessary leave,
and she would not see him until she reached An-
dover. It was a disappointment! She walked
down the gangplank, with two stewards carrying
her hand-baggage, and resigned herself to the
prospect of a lonely three or four hours. But as
she put foot on the dock, a tall young man, in
neat flannels and a straw hat, seized her in his
arms and gave her a hug which threatened to
crush her collar-bone.
"Why, Tenny," she cried, as she disengaged
herself, rearranged her hat, and smoothed down
her hair, " how rough you are! It's just like being
embraced by a bear! You don't seem like my
boy, any more! ''
"Rough! Why, Mother, that was a demon-
298 THE ANDOVER WAY
stration of affection. I was merely giving you the
glad grapple! "
Mrs. Harris stopped patting her dress and
turned to look at her son. Was this the boy she
had left behind, — this young giant so obviously
accustomed to slang? She inspected him care-
fully. He had evidently grown broader of shoul-
der and much heavier, for his legs were no longer
mere spindles and his face was fuller. His skin
was brown, and, although he still wore tortoise-
shell glasses, there was a sparkle in his eyes which
she had never seen there before. He seemed to
resemble some one whom she had known! Oh,
yes! That was it! He was getting to look ex-
actly like his father, — the same firm jaw, winning
smile, and erect carriage. The resulting memory
was almost overpowering.
There was a further change, moreover, which
impressed Mrs. Harris. Her son was no longer
a boy, or a youth, but a man. He bore himself
with complete independence, as if he feared no
one. " Now, Mother, where are all your bags?
I'll see whether I can put it across with these cus-
toms harpies.'* Alfred had never behaved in this
fashion before. Actually he was taking care of
her, whereas she had always watched over him.
Mrs. Harris stopped patting her dress and turned to
LOOK AT her son.— Page ^58.
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 299
She rather liked this new system. It was what
the boy's father had done for many years.
Alfred was moving with the assurance and
speed of one who is accustomed to getting things
.^one. He seemed to know how to say a few
pleasant words to the inspector and secure his
interest in their behalf, and other people evidently
liked to have him around. Mrs. Harris, who knew
herself how to manage officials, was more and
more bewildered as she saw the efficiency with
which he operated. In an incredibly short time
they were done with the customs, Alfred had con-
jured up a taxicab out of nowhere, and they were
stepping out at the Copley Plaza.
" I thought that you would like to have tea
before you took the ride out to Andover," he said
as they entered the lobby.
" How thoughtful you are, Alfred ! You are
just as your father used to be."
" Mother,'^ said the boy in a hesitating way as
they took their seats at the table, "I wonder
whether you would mind dropping the 'Alfred'
and the 'Tenny' and calling me Oscar? It's
what everybody calls me at school, and I'm used
" Oscar! " repeated Mrs. Harris in astonish-
300 THE ANDOVER WAY
ment. " Oscar! Why Oscar? I don't see where
you got that name? "
" I don't, either," confessed the young fellow.
" Steve Fisher gave it to me last fall for no rea-
son whatever, and it's stuck. Funny, isn't it?
There's a chum of mine named Ohver, and he is
always called * Joe,' — why, I haven't the slightest
idea. But I rather like my new name. You
know I've always hated 'Alfred,' and I'm not keen
for ' Tenny ' either."
" I'll try to call you that if you like, Al — Oscar.
But it does sound a little queer at first. I tried
to give you a name that nobody could shorten
up, — and look at the result! "
" Well, it isn't as bad as some names. There's
a man on the faculty named * Claude.' That's
terrible! Anyhow. Oscar's all right! "
Mrs. Harris, as she poured the tea and put in
the four lumps of sugar that young people usually
want, had another look at her offspring.
" Why, Al — Oscar," she said, " you're wearing
a soft collar, aren't you? And where did you get
that gaudy necktie? "
" Gosh, Mother, if I sported a stiff collar out
there, I'd get jollied for fair."
Mrs. Harris did her best to keep her inward
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 301
horror from showing on her face. When she had
left her son behind in September, he was precise
in his speech and accurate in his language. Now
he had lost entirely the slightly English accent
of which she had been so proud ; and he was em-
ploying idioms of which she had never heard.
But she did not fail to recognize the fact that he
had not become vulgar. He was still just as much
of a gentleman as ever, and even his clothing,
though less formal than she liked, was neat and
" Where's your top-coat? I didn't see you
check it. You didn't leave it at the dock, did
you? '' Mrs. Harris asked, anxiously.
"My top-coat! Why, Mother, I haven't any.
I haven't worn an overcoat for months. Not since
the snow left the ground."
" How do you keep from catching cold? "
"Great Scott, I don't know. Taking lots of
exercise and a cold shower every morning, I
"A cold shower every day! Do you mean to
say, Alfred Harris, that you take a cold bath
every day? "
"I sure do. And, Mother, please remember
that my name is Oscar."
302 THE ANDO VER WAY
" All right, Oscar. I'll try to keep it in mind.
But it's not easy."
" Did I write you, Mother, that I had got my
" No, you didn't. In what subject was that?
" No, Mother dear, not that. I mean my 'A'
for winning against Exeter in a relay race."
" Do you mean to say that you ran a mile?
Why, I never have let you run at all! Your heart
" I'll never admit it, Mrs. Thomas Walker
Harris. I won the mile since then, too. And I
pretty nearly broke the record, besides. I wish
you could have been there." And Oscar proceeded
to give his mother a thrilling description of his
battle with Red O'Brien.
" I'm glad I wasn't there," answered Mrs.
Harris, with a shudder. " I should have been
worried to death."
Oscar was troubled and alarmed. He wanted
desperately to explain some things to his mother,
but he did not wish to offend or hurt her. He
began in a rather apologetic manner.
" Mother, should you mind if I said something
before we get out to the school? "
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER
" No, of course not."
" Well, I'll try to make it clear. You see, An-
dover is a place with all sorts of peculiar customs,
— at least they probably will seem strange to you.
If the fellows there think that you aren't manly
or independent, they make fun of you. Now you
mustn't treat me or speak to me as if I were a
child in a baby-carriage. If you act as if I were
a piece of porcelain, I'll get razzed." His moth-
er's face looked puzzled, and Oscar translated, " I
mean, I'll be ridiculed.
" Now," he went on, " the fellows up there may
not seem to you like the English boys we used to
meet, but they're really wonderful, and nobody
can be finer than they are. You have to under-
stand us Americans to realize our splendid traits."
This last was to Mrs. Harris a delightful touch, —
" us Americans! "
. Mrs. Harris, in spite of her nervousness about
her child, was really a sensible woman. The be-
reavement which she had suffered had, it is true,
made her apprehensive, but her solicitude was
based on an ardent affection. She had been
taught much by her husband, and she could un-
derstand what Oscar was attempting to get at.
Oscar's letters, moreover, had opened her eyes to
THE ANDOVER WAY
?ne fact that the father's character was beginning
to assert itself in the son. It would still take her
some time to adjust herself to changed conditions,
but she was ready to do her best.
"Look here, Oscar," she said, after she had
sipped her tea and regained control of herself,
" I don't want you to be ashamed of your mother,
and I'm going to try to do just what will please
you. Only you'll have to be patient if I make a
few mistakes at first. You see I'm a foreigner
now, and you may have to teach me how to be-
have like an American." She smiled as she
thought of Oscar's phrase: " us Americans! "
" That's all right, Mother. You're the prettiest
mother that any one in the class can show, and I
shall be proud to take you around. You'll get
used to everything in a hurry."
The tables were completely turned. When she
had brought Oscar to Andover, she had attended
to every detail. Now she had Oscar to wait on
her. Mrs. Harris, as she rode out in the train,
through Wakefield and Reading and Ballardvale,
kept pondering on her problem. It was going to
be hard for her not to recommend rubbers for
him when it rained, but she would have to keep
still. The boy had outgrown some of his former
HE AMAZES HIS MOTHER 305
pretty ways, but she was sure that she preferred
him as he now was. She had nurtured a boy who
had obviously become a man, and must be treated
As he towered above her on the platform of
the Andover station, making arrangements for
the disposition of her trunks and arranging for a
taxicab up the hill, she could see in him again
the resemblance to his father. Tears filled her
eyes at the recollection, but she stepped aside for
a moment and dried them with her handkerchief.
She must not make a fool of herself, she must not!
And, when he left her at the Phillips Inn for a
rest before dinner, she was resolved to act so that
Alfred, — there it was again! — so that Oscar would
be glad to exhibit her to his friends.
THE HERO CLOSES THE YEAR
Mrs. Harris had arrived on the Friday pre-
ceding Commencement Week, just in time to at-
tend all the festivities, and she was amused to
discover that all the plans and arrangements for
the next few days were being made by Oscar. He
had decided where she was to stay, what invita-
tions she was to accept, and even the hours when
she was to rest; and she had to adhere to his
program. Her sensations as she found out that
she was being " bossed '' are a little difficult to
analyze. At first she protested, but she quickly
saw that this did no good whatever; the boy, as
his father had done, merely kept straight on in
his course, saying very little, but waving aside
all criticisms. Altogether, he was a rather forceful
personality, whom it was impossible to withstand.
It was certain that he had character. Somehow
the school had brought out all his good traits and
eradicated many of his former weaknesses.
A night's reflection quite reconciled Mrs. Harris
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 307
to the situation, and she appeared at breakfast
entirely composed and looking very girlish and at-
tractive. She was, of course, still a young woman,
and she had left off her mourning black when she
returned to the United States, having decided that
it was her business now to devote herself to her
son rather than to her husband's memory. It
was no small satisfaction for her to notice that,
as she appeared in the latest models of Parisian
hats and gowns, Oscar showed himself very proud
of her; and indeed, with her light hair, slender
figure, and vivacious manner, she seemed more
like his sister than his mother. Sons on such oc-
casions are very critical, but Oscar expressed him-
self as entirely satisfied.
Now that her mind was adjusted to conditions
as she found them, Mrs. Harris, — ^who was not
without a sense of humor, — amused herself by
studying her stalwart son to see exactly what An-
dover had done to him. In the Phillips Inn with
her were other parents of boys in the graduating
class, many of them of the " doting '* kind which
Oscar so much disliked. Each mother opened the
dialogue by boasting of her offspring's achieve-
ments, such as they were, and Mrs. Harris had
often occasion to be thankful that she could say,
308 THE ANDOVER WAY
in a casual manner, " Yes, my boy is a member
of K. P. N., and the best mile-runner on the track
team." After this ceremony had been duly per-
formed and the matter of boyish diseases and ten-
dencies had been covered, the parents fell back
on the more general but always fascinating topic
of the influence of Andover on its students. Not
every mother was as pleased as Mrs. Harris.
There were some who felt that their sons had been
submerged in the crowd; there were others who
complained that their boys had not received
enough personal attention from the teachers ; now
and then there would be one who was convinced
that her Willie would have done better somewhere
else. Mrs. Harris, who knew almost nothing of
other American schools, listened attentively to all
that was said and acquired some useful informa-
tion, — especially when, after hearing all about
Johnny Jones from Johnny's mother, she inquired
about Johnny from Oscar and was told the painful
truth, — that Johnny was lazy or conceited or
" footless." She became convinced of the truth of
Stephen Leacock's remark, " Some men would
have been what they are, no matter what they
On Saturday afternoon Mrs. Harris was invited
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 309
to the Head's house for tea, and, in the seclusion
of a quiet corner, had an enlightening conversa-
tion with that busy gentleman.
"Ah, Mrs. Harris," he said, as he shook her
hand cordially, " it's nearly a year since we met,
is it not? I recall distinctly your call just before
you sailed for Europe. Has your boy Oscar
changed at all since you saw him last? "
"Indeed he has! Meeting him again is like
taking an excursion into an unfamiliar country.
Now and then I can detect a trace of his old self,
but he's really an entirely different person. I've
had to get reacquainted with him."
" I can readily imagine it. He is not very much
like the puzzled youngster who brought me some
free verse last fall or who tried to smoke a ciga-
rette on the portico of the Main Building." And
he told Mrs. Harris the two stories, laughing as
he did so. " Those incidents show how he began
his career. Any ordinary boy could not have re-
covered from the shock. But Oscar has a happy
faculty for learning by experience. Each mistake
that he has made has taught him something."
" I have been wondering just what did happen.
What magic charm did you employ to effect such
a transformation? "
310 THE ANDOVER WAY
" We did very little but provide the opportu-
nity, Mrs. Harris. The inevitable course of Nature
did the rest. Here was a boy who came of sound
stock, whose body, feeble though it seemed to be,
was naturally strong, and whose will, though it
was untried, was resolute. He had never been
placed in an environment where his powers could
develop. We didn't put anything in to him; we
just drew it out. That's what education means,
you know, — the Latin e-ducere, to draw out. My
only regret is that he could not be here longer.
He is only just beginning to show his strength.
In college he will make a brilliant record. I have
watched him carefully, and I know."
" I have been especially interested in what he
has had to say about his friends," said Mrs.
Harris, who loved, like every mother, to talk about
her son. " He never used to mix at all with other
boys, and now he seems to know everybody in
school. Apparently there isn't anything of the
snob about him."
" Well, that is a kind of Andover tradition, if
you'll let me boast a little. The school undoubt-
edly helped to teach him that. Here on this Hill
it matters very little what kind of a family a lad
comes from. It's what he is and does that counts.
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 311
No democracy could be fairer, — and it's typically
American, I believe."
^' I have never forgotten your words to me as
I left your house last fall," concluded Mrs. Harris,
noticing that another mother was hovering about,
evidently hoping for a word with the Head. "And
I want to say that every single item in your proph-
ecy has been fulfilled."
" I'm not always as fortunate as that," laughed
the Head, as he turned to confront a mother whose
son, because of a failure in English, was not to
receive a diploma. Another phase of his com-
plex and interesting task was before him, for he
was obliged to explain failures as well as suc-
Hoping to get better acquainted with Oscar's
friends, Mrs. Harris urged him to invite several
of them to dinner at the Inn that evening. At
six-thirty a little group gathered in one of the
private dining-rooms, including some of the rep-
resentative leaders of the school, — Bull Taylor,
Kid Wing, Joe Watson, Spider Drummond, Bar-
ney Wright, and, of course, Hal Manning. On
one side Mrs. Harris had placed Bull; on the
other, Hal. The contrast between them was not
so striking as the similarity. It is true that Hal's
812 THE ANDOVER WAY
speech was the closely clipped accent of the well-
bred Bostonian, with the broad " a " and the
slurred "r^s," while Bull's pronunciation was
more nasal,. and often his final " g's " were left off.
Yet both were gentlemen, with careful table man-
ners and unfailing courtesy. Both were masters,
when occasion demanded, of the mysterious slang
language which had at first so puzzled Mrs.
Harris; and both were neatly dressed, in the fash-
ion which Andover conventionality that year pre-
scribed. They met, of course, on absolutely even
terms. Each, having done something in school
life, was considered by his mates to be a man,
not only by personality but also by accomplish-
ment. Each had been elected to one of the best
fraternities in the academy. Yet one had a large
allowance, and the other was waiting on table and
running a laundry agency to support himself
through school. Hal would step out of college
into a brokerage firm where his path to success
would be made smooth and a partnership eventu-
ally awaited him. Bull, no matter what he un-
dertook, would have to work up slowly, with no
influence back of him. Yet both were typical
Andover products, and Mrs. Harris was inclined
to believe that, at the end of a quarter of a cen-
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 313
tury, Buirs achievement in life, measured by the
things that really count, might be as great as
As she chatted with them and listened to their
stories, Mrs. Harris was constantly watching to
see how these boys treated Oscar, — whether there
was any condescension or superciliousness in their
attitude. So far as she could observe, Oscar was
on even terms with them in every respect. Oc-
casionally when the conversation would turn in
his direction and he would tell some anecdote,
she could not believe that he was her son, so much
he seemed like a stranger. She noticed that, as
a host, Oscar attended to every detail and made
sure that each guest had a good time.
The talk turned to church services. " I cer-
tainly hope that the minister to-morrow will not
compare life to a football game," said Kid Wing,
introducing the topic. " We've had four sermons
like that since Christmas, and we're all tired of
that figure of speech."
" That must be funny," said Mrs. Harris. " Do
you keep track of sermons as closely as that? "
"I certainly do, Mrs. Harris," replied Kid.
"Why, last year we had three sermons in suc-
cession, by three different men, on exactly the
314 THE ANDOVER WAY
same text, — something about the Prodigal Son.
And then one minister came here twice dm-ing the
term and gave us the same sermon each time, —
forgot absolutely that he'd delivered it here be-
fore. Oh, we remember things of that sort."
** The worst,'' said Hal Manning, " was the time
when there was a kind of mania for reciting a
poem that ended ' Play up ! Play up ! and play
the game! ' It has something to do with cricket,
I guess. Almost everybody who spoke in chapel
all during the spring term would end up by drop-
ping his voice to a low impressive tone and say-
ing, 'And now, my friends, there is a well-known
poem which sums up the spirit of this ancient
school,' — and then he would get off that old chest-
nut once more. Once Dolly Loring, — that's the
teacher, Mrs. Harris, — who never goes to church
anyhow, and knew nothing about what was hap-
pening, — closed his recitation by saying, * Gentle-
men, there's a little poem that I should like to
read you because it so beautifully illustrates what
IVe been saying,' — and he started:
** 'There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
Ten to make and the match to win ! '
Every fellow in the class knew how it ended, and
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 315
when he reached the last line of the first stanza,
they all joined in:
" 'But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote —
Play up ! Play up ! and play the game ! '
It was so funny that the whole class was shriek-
ing with laughter. Of course Dolly was peeved
for a minute, but then somebody explained the
joke and he saw the fun in it. He's always a
Mrs. Harris could have sat until midnight
listening to these entertaining tales of undergrad-
uate life, but the guests had to leave for their
society meetings, and the party broke up by nine
o'clock. The dinner had been for her a liberal
education. When they had all departed, she took
a chair by the window of her room looking out
over the campus. From the terrace in front of
Phillips Hall came the music of familiar tunes,
sung by the seniors assembled there to get cool
on a hot night. She went to sleep with a feeling
that she was dwelling in the midst of romance.
Mrs. Harris wanted to attend the church serv-
ice on Sunday morning, and Oscar took a seat with
her in one of the rear pews, feeling a little pe-
culiar out of his accustomed bench. His mind, I
316 THE ANDOVER WAY
fear, was not on the sermon. At first he won-
dered whether the clergyman would use the time-
worn text, but when it became apparent that he
was to speak on something else, the boy lost in-
terest. In his reverie he went back to the morn-
ing when he had first taken his place in chapel
and had looked around at the colored windows
and the memorial tablets on the walls. Every
once in a while some one of Oscar's acquaint-
ances, usually Ted Sherman, would stir up an ar-
gimaent against compulsory church and chapel,
and would put up rather a plausible plea for
his side of the case. But here, as he sat with the
school in a body, Oscar realized that mere logic
meant nothing. It was sentiment which counted,
so far as church was concerned. Oscar thought
that he should like to have his sons and grand-
sons sit in these seats as he had done and drink
in, so to speak, the spirit of the old academy.
Suddenly he heard the clergyman announcing the
closing hymn, " Onward, Christian Soldiers! "
He smiled to think that he had been there for
half an hour without hearing a word of the ser-
mon. What good, then, had he derived from the
service? As he pondered on this problem, he
could answer his question only by protesting to
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 317
himself that there was something intangible and
indefinite, but very real, which made attendance
worth while. His mother unquestionably thought
so, for she spoke of it as if it had given her in-
spiration for the day.
As soon as church was over, Mrs. Harris and
Oscar started with Mrs. Manning and Hal, in the
Mannings' car, for a trip along the Massachu-
setts North Shore, arranged to prove to Mrs.
Harris how beautiful it was. They went first to
Salem, where they saw Hawthorne's House of
Seven Gables; then they continued along the
rocky coast to Magnolia, where they stopped for
a picnic lunch on the boulders overlooking
Gloucester Harbor and the reef of Norman's Woe,
from which the mournful sound of the bell-buoy
floated to them across the waves. Hal stood on
a lofty point and declaimed in a theatrical tone:
*'Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow !
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!''
As they sat there out in the warm June air, the
harrowing tragedy of the good ship Hesperus
seemed very remote and improbable. After lunch
they motored to Ipswich and Newburyport, with
318 THE ANDOVER WAY
its long High Street lined with lovely colonial
homes, and then to Amesbury, where they stopped
to visit Whittier's birthplace. Here Oscar came
back at Hal with a still less suitable poem, and,
posing under the hot sun, quoted from Snow-
* ' Unwarmed by any sunset light
The grey day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the winged snow.'^
With this, their literary pilgrimage came to an
end, and they returned to Andover, just in time
for chapel, after a circuit of seventy miles through
one of the most beautiful sections of the New
Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Manning together
watched the procession of seniors come down the
Elm Arch, with Professor Bannard at their head
as Chief Marshal, and inside the chapel they had
seats beside the Reverend James Fisher, Steve's
father. The Baccalaureate Sermon was preached
by a young Andover graduate named Boynton,
who talked very simply and directly on some of
the fundamental virtues, like sincerity and loyalty
and patriotism. With moving eloquence he re-
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 319
ferred to Andover men who had displayed these
qualities in times of crisis, — to Jack Wright, the
young " poet of the air," who, at eighteen, had
sacrificed his life for a noble cause in the World
War, and Schuyler Lee, who had been killed in
combat with four of the enemy, — finally telling
the story of " Tom '' Harris, who had fallen des-
perately wounded while going over the top in the
Argonne Offensive. If he had known that Major
Harris's wife and son were in the congregation,
he would not have mentioned that hero. But
Mrs. Harris bore herself admirably, even though
she was unable to restrain her tears. As for Os-
car, he merely sat up straighter, proud that he
had such a father. The clergyman closed his ref-
erence to Major Harris by a fitting quotation
from Wordsworth's poem:
''This is the Happy Warrior; this is He
That every Man in Arms should wish to be."
He did not know until the Head told him after-
wards that his sermon had had a poignant mean-
ing to at least two of his hearers.
The next few days were busy ones, during which
there seemed to be always something for Mrs.
Harris to do. At intervals Oscar took final ex-
820 THE ANDOVER WAY
aminations in his courses, but did not appear to
be much worried about them. In the afternoons
there were teas with some of Oscar's friends on
the faculty; and three times she and Oscar were
invited to dinner. Furthermore, Mrs. Harris at-
tended all the events of Commencement Week,
from the organ recital down, — or up, — to the
Promenade. On one evening there was a per-
formance by the Dramatic Club ; on another there
was the Potter Prize Speaking contest, in which
Hal took first placej and on another the Musical
Clubs gave a concert. Oscar amused his mother
by apologizing for not being on the Musical Clubs.
As he explained it, he made up his mind during
the winter term, when ambition developed in his
soul, that he would try out for every school or-
ganization. When a call was issued for candi-
dates for the Glee Club, Oscar appeared before
Dr. Schleiermacher, ready for the ordeal.
" Have you ever done any singing? " asked the
Director of Music.
" No, none to speak of/' admitted Oscar.
" What makes you think that you can do well
enough to make the Glee Club? "
" Well, I don't seem to be good for much else,
and I thought that I would give this a try, sir."
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 321
The patient Dr. Schleiermacher smiled toler-
antly and patiently, and then told Oscar to run
up and down the scale. The boy threw back his
head, opened his mouth, and emitted a series of
sounds. The result was astounding. Oscar could
play the piano very well indeed, and he knew the
theory of harmony; but he had no control what-
ever over his voice. Dr. Schleiermacher listened
a moment, beat with his fist on the back of a
seat, and said, "Stop! " Oscar paused, and the
teacher said, " Harris, are you making fun of
" No, sir, no, sir, of course not! "
" Do you mean to say that that noise is your
natural singing voice? "
"Why, yes, sir! ^'
"Well, I never heard anything quite like it.
It's unique! It isn't bass or tenor or baritone, —
it's more like snare! Now I tell you what to do.
You go home quietly and say nothing about that
voice of yours, and perhaps nobody will ever find
out what it's like. But if the other fellows ever
do find out, I'm afraid for your life. I'll try to
keep your secret."
Laughing heartily, Oscar asked, "You don't
think that I have any disease, do you, sir? "
322 THE AXDOVER WAY
" No, not as bad as that. But if I were yoi
I should consider having my t^^sils removed an(
my adenoids cut out. Then, perhaps, the pah
would be less for the hearers."
Oscar could see that Dr. Schleiermacher wa
joking, but he nevertheless beat a retreat a
quickly as possible, and abandoned all his musics
aspirations from that time forth. When Mn
Harris heard this tale, she smiled. " You're jus
like your father again," she said. " He couldn
sing a note, and yet he would insist on taking pai
in singing the hymns in church. It used to h
agony for anybody near him."
" I'm different from him in one way, then,
replied Oscar, " for I've learned enough now nev(
to open my mouth when there's anything of thi
kind going on."
Commencement Day itself was full of excitin
moments for Mrs. Harris. It was perfect Jur
weather, — cloudless, with just enough light wic
blowing to keep it from being too hot. She stoc
with Steve Fisher's father watching the proce
sion of graduates and distinguished guests marc
around the campus to the music of the stirru
Andover songs played by the band; she w;
pleased when she saw on the program Oscai
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 323
name as a member of the Cum Laude Society,
made up of the highest scholars in the class; and
she was just as delighted as Mr. Fisher when
Steve was awarded the Yale Cup, for the best
scholar and athlete combined, and the Fuller
Prize, voted to the senior best representing the
ideals of Andover. Oscar himself received one of
the Goodhue prizes in English, and went through
the publicity of the long walk down the aisle to
the platform, accompanied by the applause of the
audience. The Otis Prize, for ^' the greatest gen-
eral improvement," was given to Joe Watson.
When it was announced, Mr. Foxcroft, the Reg-
istrar, who was sitting near Mrs. Harris, leaned
over and said, ^' If it had not been expressly stipu-
lated that the winner must have been three years
in Andover, your son would have taken that prize
without any doubt."
" I'm mighty glad that Joe did get it," answered
Mrs. Harris. " He deserves some recognition for
what he has accomplished. I have heard a great
deal about him."
Just then the Head stepped forward once more,
evidently for the purpose of making another sig-
" There is a surprise waiting for us this year, —
324 THE ANDOVER WAY
an unusual event. I beg leave to introduce Dr.
Fullerton, of New York City."
Dr. Fullerton arose and spoke:
" Ladies and gentlemen, I am here merely as
the representative of Mrs. Brooks Aten, the donor
of the Brooks-Bryce Prizes for essays on the gen-
eral subject of amicable relations between the
United States and Great Britain.. As you know,
each of several great American schools submits
an essay each year in a national contest, the win-
ner of which receives a silver cup and a summer
trip to Europe. Last year the award went to
Exeter; it is my pleasure this year to announce
the winner of the national competition as Alfred
Tennyson Harris, of Andover."
There was a tremendous storm of applause as
this name was pronounced. Everybody looked in
Oscar's direction, and the Head beckoned him to
come to the platform. There Dr. Fullerton
handed to him a silver goblet nearly a foot high
and also an envelope containing a check for one
hundred pounds to be expended on a trip to Eu-
rope. The ovation which Oscar received as he
fondled the huge cup in his hands was overwhelm-
ing. It was impossible for him to say a word.
He simply nodded his head and proceeded back to
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 325
his seat like a man in a daze. As for Mrs. Harris,
her heart was so full that she could only smile
through her tears in answer to the congratulations
that came to her from those who sat in her vicin-
After the exercises she met Oscar, and they
strolled up the Elm Arch. " Well," she said, after
they had escaped from the crowd, '' you're get-
ting to be a good deal like a story-book hero,
aren't you? First you save a boy from a fire;
then you win a mile run against the rival school ;
and now you walk off with a trophy big enough
for a giant! The only thing left for you to do
is to have a beautiful heiress fall in love with
" For the present I'm going to be satisfied with
you," answered Oscar, smiling at her. " Besides,
not even you could ever call me handsome."
" No," said Mrs. Harris, " I suppose that you
axe not exactly classical in your features. You
have what is called a ' strong ' face."
"Strong is right!" replied Oscar. "I know
what that means, — ^it's a mild way of saying
* homely as a hedge fence.' '*
" Well, you suit me," concluded Mrs. Harris, as
she left Oscar at the Gymnasium. " I'm like all
326 THE ANDOVER WAY
foolish mothers, — I wouldn't have you char
In the evening came the Promenade, the clo'-'ing
feature of Commencement Week. Althoug,ii \js-
car had been during his European years what
might have been called a " fusser," he had, since
his arrival in Andover, neglected whatever oppor-
tunities had been thrown in his way for meeting
girls. As the spring dance drew near, he had
been urged by several of his friends to take their
" Betty is really a pretty decent sort," admitted
Kid Wing, as he suggested the possibility of Os-
car's being his sister's escort. *' She's a bit old, —
eighteen, — but she would do very well for you,
Oscar. Why not be a sport and ask her? That
will let me take a Dana Hall girl that I want to
" I'm sorry not to help you out," was Oscar's
answer. " I know that your sister is a * peach,'
but I've got my mother to look out for. She looks
almost like a girl, and she's just as slim and grace-
ful as any of these flappers."
It was some years since Mrs. Harris had danced,
and she hated to admit to Oscar how much she
looked forward to the Promenade. The Gymna-
HE CLOSES THE YEAR 327
sium presented a very gay appearance, decorated
as it was with banners of every hue and educa-
tional institution. Mrs. Harris took her place
among the older ladies, but she was not allowed to
remain there long. After Oscar had danced with
her, she became one of the most popular partners
on the floor, and his friends were repeatedly " cut-
ting in." Furthermore, Oscar introduced her to
several of the bachelor members of the faculty,
who certainly did their best to give her a good
time. When Oscar saw that she was well taken
care of, he went out and sat under the trees, en-
joying the cool night air and watching the Japa-
nese lanterns tossing on their wires among the
trees. It had been a full day for him, and he was
glad to have a chance to take his bearings. Once
he caught sight of Steve Fisher and his father
looking at the names carved on the base of the
Memorial Tower, and he saw the older man's hand
rest affectionately on his son's shoulder. Then
there came to Oscar, as he had never known it be-
fore, a sense of the loss which he had suffered.
When the two had moved along, Oscar strolled
over to study the long list again. There it was,
his father's name, THOMAS WALKER HARRIS,
ahnost at the head of the Roll of Honor. Some-
328 THE ANDOVER WAY
thing swelled in his throat as he looked at the
letters. Then, with a sigh, he turned away, to go
back to his mother and the gayety by which she
THE HERO SAYS HIS FAREWELLS
It was a gloriously warm and hazy morning in
late June on Andover Hill. Again four perfectly
healthy young men were stretched out lazily on
the grass in front of George Washington Hall, in
attitudes which expressed disdain for all forms of
mental and physical exertion. As it was nearing
the close of college entrance examination week,
the quartette should, I suppose, have been hard
at work over their books, preparing for the next
test. But there was a summer languor in the air,
and it was hard for these recent graduates of the
school to settle down to business.
"Well, we're honest-to-goodness alumni at
last! '' burst out Hal Manning. " And I've locked
my * dip ' safely away in my trunk."
" I never thought I should make it," commented
Joe Watson. " But somehow at the last moment
all the ' profs ' had an attack of generosity, and
they let me through. Let no one tell me again
that teachers are hard-hearted."
330 THE ANDOVER WAY
" They simply couldn't stand having you
around here any longer/' remarked Ted Sherman,
who, as usual, was ready with a jibe at one of his
friends. '' Haven't you kept them worried for
three long weary years? I should think that they
would be willing to stretch their consciences to
the limit in order to get you out of the way."
'' Well, Ted," answered Joe, who was not too
sleepy to retaliate, " I haven't heard yet that the
Trustees are going to offer you a position on the
" Good for you, Joe! " interposed Steve Fisher.
" On the contrary, I've been informed confiden-
tially that the Head realizes Ted's corrupting in-
fluence on the young! "
** By the way, what kind of a job did ' Dad '
Warner wish on you yesterday? " inquired Hal,
referring to the fact that Mr. Warner, the Alumni
Secretary, had asked Steve to come to see him.
" Oh, he just wants me to be a Class Agent, —
that's what he calls it, — and collect money from
you fellows later on for the Alumni Fund. And,
believe me, I'll do it, if I have to perpetrate an
assault on each one of you. And when you get
to be millionaires, I'll compel you to build a
HE SAYS HIS FAREAVELLS 331
" By that remote date most of us shall have
forgotten Andover," said Ted.
''Not on your life!" ejaculated Hal. "I'm
sure, for one, that no college can ever mean to
me what this place does! "
"That's the way I feel," added Joe. "I've
grown up here, and I'm coming back just as often
as I can, until I get to be a cripple in a wheel-
" That's Ted's attitude, too," said Steve. " But
he can't resist posing as a cynic. Come now, you
grouch, don't you really hate to leave here?
"Yes, I suppose I do," admitted Ted reluc-
" I was sure of it," responded Steve. " Confes-
sion is good for the soul, and it won't harm you
to be honest for once. But I've got to do a little
more plugging on that Greek." And he sat up,
yawning widely and stretching his arms.
" Say, who's that over by Pearson Hall? " in-
"Wliy, that's your disreputable roommate.
That's Oscar Harris and his mother."
" She's certainly a corker, isn't she? " said
Steve, as he looked in that direction. " I noticed
332 THE ANDOVER WAY
that you fellows danced with her about six times
apiece at the * Prom.' '*
" Yes, and you missed a lot by not coming in
yourself," replied Hal. "She is certainly light
on her feet, and we got along beautifully to-
gether. She told me that I was the best dancer
on the floor."
" That's funny," said Ted. " She told me that
I was the best partner she had had that evening."
" Think of that! " added Joe. "And she let me
know that she had never found a man who danced
as well as I."
" Well," said Steve, " it's easy to see that Mrs.
Harris is a strategist. No wonder she's popular!
Now I've never danced with her, but I like her
just the same! "
" Do you know," said Joe unexpectedly, " that
Oscar Harris is one of the finest men in our
"Tell us something new!" responded Ted.
" Of course he is. There's no one better, — always
barring this present irreproachable company of
"You didn't always think so, did you?" said
Steve significantly, as he stood up to go to his
334 THE AXDOVER WAY
stand why I wasn't led down to the station by the
Student Council and warned not to appear again
on the premises."
" Somehow you have managed to scrape along/'
said Hal, coming to his roommate's rescue. "And
your record is almost as good as Sherman's." He
looked a little sarcastically at Ted as he made the
" You four have certainly done a lot for Oscar,"
said Mrs. Harris. " I'll have to admit that he's a
little less green than he was last September."
" Most of us uuprove here," said Steve.
" We're all a little better than when we came, I
'' I suppose I ought to say ' Good-bye ' now,"
interposed Oscar. " We're off this afternoon."
" WTiere are you going? " inquired Ted.
" Oh, we sail for Europe to-morrow. You see,
I've got to spend that Brooks-Bryce prize money
on a trip to England, and Mother would like to
be in Cornwall and Devon for the summer, any-
" When shall we six meet again? " asked Hal,
paraphrasing the famous line in dramatic style.
" We shall get together again before long, even
though we may be at different colleges," answered
HE SAYS HIS FAIIE\AT:LLS 333
By this time Oscar and his mother, who were
strolling about in the sunshine, had come nearer,
and the other three boys rose abo to speak to
them. They all shook hands in the most cordial
way with Mrs. Harris, who had manifestly be-
come a favorite with them. When they had
chatted for some minutes, Mrs. Harris said, " By
the way, wasn't it near this spot that I saw you
four for the first time? "
" That's right, it was,'' recollected Steve.
" Last fall we were all lying here when you and
Oscar came along hunting for Mr. Lynton. It
was a day a good deal like this."
" Sure enough/' added Joe, '' I remember it per-
" I have heard something about it," said Oscar,
with a twinkle in his eye. " Mother, did you
know that Ted Sherman here wanted to bet
twenty-five dollars then that I wouldn't last at
Andover until Christmas? "
"Oh, Mrs. Harris!" replied Ted. for once
really discomfited and blushing very red. " That
was just a joke, that's all! "
"Joke nothing! *' was Oscar's answer. "You
meant every word of it, and it's a marvel that I
wasn't ' fired ' by Thanksgiving. I can't under-
HE SAYS HIS FAREWELLS 335
Steve. "And we shall be back on this Hill often.
It's the Andover way."
They shook hands and separated. Within a
day or two they were miles from Andover, and
their schooldays together were ended. But they
had memories which lingered until long after they
had grown-up sons in the academy which they